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International Law

Biodiversity Loss and Climate Change: Gender Issues in International Law and Policy

Citation:

Broeckhoven, Nicky. 2014. “Biodiversity Loss and Climate Change: Gender Issues in International Law and Policy.” DiGeSt. Journal of Diversity and Gender Studies 1 (2): 23–38.

Author: Nicky Broeckhoven

Annotation:

Summary:
“Dangerous climate change and large-scale biodiversity loss present major challenges to the international community. As a result, these global issues have been firmly placed on the international agenda and have increasingly become the subject of international environmental law and policy. At first sight, biodiversity loss and climate change, as well as the laws and policies adopted in response to them, seem gender neutral (i.e. affecting both women and men in similar ways). However, nothing could be further from the truth. Although all of us will be affected by the impacts of environmental degradation, disparities along gender lines clearly exist. On the one hand, men and women often face different risks and vulnerabilities due to existing gender-based inequalities and pervasive discrimination (Arora-Jonsson, 2011; MacGregor, 2010; UNDP, 2012; Skinner, 2011; Raczek, Blomstrom & Owren, 2010; Dankelman, 2012). In practice, this means that women are more likely to lose out in the face of environmental degradation than men. On the other hand, both women and men play a crucial role as agents of change in dealing with these global concerns (e.g. IFAD, 2014). If we want our responses to climate change and biodiversity loss to be efficient and effective, it is paramount to integrate a gender perspective into international environmental law and policy on these issues. The available literature discussing this legal and policy dimension tends to be rather fragmented and limited in time and scope. This essay aims to reduce a gap in the literature by providing an up-to-date and comprehensive overview of the extent to which gender has been integrated into the international legal frameworks on biodiversity conservation and climate change. First, the linkages between gender issues and the environment are put into context (Sections 1 and 2). Second, the author provides a critical overview of the “gender” language adopted in the frame of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (Sections 3 and 4). The essay includes recent gender-related developments, and highlights the specific role of women’s and gender organizations in this process. Finally, it discusses whether a “real” integration of a gender perspective has taken place” (Broeckhoven 2014, 23-24). 

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, International Law, International Organizations

Year: 2014

Women, PMSCs and International Law: Gender and Private Force

Citation:

Vrdoljak, Ana F. 2015. “Women, PMSCs and International Law: Gender and Private Force.” In Gender and Private Security in Global Politics, edited by Maya Eichler, 187-207. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Author: Ana F. Vrdoljak

Abstract:

The application of international law norms and shortcomings of existing regulatory regimes covering PMSCs reinforce concerns about transparency and accountability in respect of gender-related violence, harassment, and discrimination. This chapter focuses on the main issues and legal concerns raised by the impact of the privatization of war on women. The first part examines current initiatives at the international level to provide a regulatory framework for PMSCs and encompasses the obligations of states (and international organizations) in respect of international humanitarian law, human rights law, and use of force. The second part outlines the influence of civil society participation (including feminist academics, women’s NGOs, and so forth) in breaking the “silence” within international organizations and international law concerning violence against women and girls and its potential influence upon the regulation of PMSCs.

Keywords: women, private military and security companies, international law, human rights law, International Humanitarian Law, United Nations, PMSCs

Topics: Civil Society, Gender-Based Violence, International Law, International Human Rights, International Humanitarian Law IHL, International Organizations, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Private Military & Security, Privatization, Violence

Year: 2015

Women and Private Military and Security Companies

Citation:

Vrdoljack, Ana F. 2010. “Women and Private Military and Security Companies.” In War By Contract: Human Rights, International Humanitarian Law and the Regulation of Private Military and Security Companies, edited by Francesco Francioni and Natalino Ronzitti, 1-25. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Author: Ana F. Vrdoljack

Abstract:

Lack of clarity about the application of international law norms and inadequacies of existing regulatory regimes covering private military and security companies have reinforced concerns about transparency and accountability in respect of gender-related violence, harassment and discrimination. This chapter focuses on the main issues and legal concerns raised by the impact of the privatisation of war on women, both as PMSC employees and civilians. Part I highlights how armed conflict, civil unrest, occupation and transition have a detrimental effect upon the lives of women with particular reference to safety, displacement, health and economic disadvantage. Part II provides a summary of existing international humanitarian law and human rights provisions relating to women. Part III examines recent developments within the United Nations, the work of the ICRC, and international criminal law jurisprudence shaping these legal norms. Part IV considers the key recommendations of recent international and international initiatives covering PMSCs and women.

Keywords: women, private military and security companies, gender, sexual assault, forced prostitution, human trafficking, sexual harassment, discrimination, international law, International Humanitarian Law, human rights

Topics: Armed Conflict, Occupation, Displacement & Migration, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Health, International Law, International Criminal Law, International Human Rights, International Humanitarian Law IHL, International Organizations, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Private Military & Security, Privatization, Rights, Human Rights, Violence

Year: 2010

Women, Peace, and Security and the DRC: Time to Rethink Wartime Sexual Violence as Gender-Based Violence?

Citation:

Aroussi, Sahla. 2017. "Women, Peace, and Security and the DRC: Time to Rethink Wartime Sexual Violence as Gender-Based Violence?" Politics & Gender 13(3): 488-515. 

Author: Sahla Aroussi

Abstract:

During armed conflicts, women experience extensive gender harm of a physical, sexual, legal, economic, social, cultural, and political nature. Recently, however, we have witnessed unprecedented attention in international law and policy-making arenas to the specific issue of sexual violence as a strategy of warfare. This has been particularly obvious in the agenda on women, peace, and security. Since 2008, the United Nations agenda has increasingly and repeatedly focused on sexual violence in armed conflicts in several Security Council resolutions, calling on and pressuring member states and international agencies to address this issue using militaristic and legalistic strategies. In this article, looking particularly at the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), I argue that the prioritization of sexual harm over other forms of gender harm has had a detrimental impact on women living in aid-dependent societies, and the international obsession with sexual harm has delivered neither justice nor security for victims in the DRC. The article concludes that in order to effectively address sexual violence, we have to rethink sexual harm as gender harm and start listening and responding to women's actual needs and priorities on the ground.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, conflict, peace and security, International Law, International Organizations, Justice, Peacebuilding, Security, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, Sexual Violence, SV against women Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo

Year: 2017

Accountability of Private Military and Security Contractors in the International Legal Regime

Citation:

Huskey, Kristine A. 2012. Accountability of Private Military and Security Contractors in the International Legal Regime. Criminal Justice Ethics 31(3): 193-212.

Author: Kristine Huskey

Abstract:

The rapidly growing presence of private military and security contractors (PMSCs) in armed conflict and post-conflict situations in the last decade brought corresponding incidents of serious misconduct by PMSC personnel. The two most infamous events one involving the firm formerly known as Blackwater and the other involving Titan and CACl engendered scrutiny of available mechanisms for criminal and civil accountability of the individuals whose misconduct caused the harm. Along a parallel track, scholars and policymakers began examining the responsibility of states and international organizations for the harm that occurred. Both approaches have primarily focused on post-conduct accountability of the individuals who caused the harm, of the state in which the harm occurred, or of the state or organization that hired the PMSC whose personnel caused the harm. Less attention, however, has been paid to the idea of pre-conduct accountability for PMSCs and their personnel. A broad understanding of accountability for PMSCs and their personnel encompasses not only responsibility for harm caused by conduct, but responsibility for hiring, hosting, and monitoring these entities, as well as responsibility to the victims of the harm. This article provides a comprehensive approach for analyzing the existing international legal regime, and whether and to what extent the legal regime provides accountability for PMSCs and their personnel. It does so by proposing a practical construct of three phases based on PMSC operations Contracting, In-the-Field, and Post-Conduct with which to assess the various bodies of international law.

 

Keywords: private military and security companies, accountability, international human rights law, International Humanitarian Law, Montreux Document, International Criminal Law, U.N. Draft Convention on Private Military and Security Contractors

Topics: International Law, International Criminal Law, International Human Rights, International Humanitarian Law IHL, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Private Military & Security, Security Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2012

Sexual Minorities in Conflict Zones: A Review of the Literature

Citation:

Moore, Melinda W., and John R. Barner. 2017. “Sexual Minorities in Conflict Zones: A Review of the Literature.” Aggression and Violent Behavior 35: 33-37.

Authors: Melinda W. Moore, John R. Barner

Abstract:

In civil and ethnic conflict, sexual minorities experience a heightened risk for war crimes such as sexual violence, torture, and death. As a result, sexual minorities remain an invisible population in armed conflict out of a need for safety. Further study of sexual minorities in conflict zones confronts matters of human rights, war crimes, and the psychosocial effects of war. This article reviews the existing research on sexual minorities in conflict zones, examines the findings on human rights, war crimes, and the psychosocial effects of war and violence on sexual minority populations, and reviews the barriers to effectiveness faced by intervention programs developed spe- cifically to aid post-conflict societies. The article concludes with a summary of findings within the literature and further considerations for research on aggression and violent behavior with sexual minority groups in conflict zones.

Keywords: violence, aggression, Sexual minorities, gender, war, armed conflict, human rights

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Ethnic/Communal Wars, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender-Based Violence, International Law, International Human Rights, Justice, War Crimes, LGBTQ, Rights, Human Rights, Sexual Violence, SV against men, SV against women, Torture, Sexual Torture, Violence

Year: 2017

Translating and Internalising International Human Rights Law: The Courts of Melanesia Confront Gendered Violence

Citation:

Zorn, Jean G. 2016. "Translating and Internalising International Human Rights Law: The Courts of Melanesia Confront Gendered Violence." In Gender Violence & Human Rights: Seeking Justice in Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu, edited by Aletta Biersack, Margaret Jolly, and Martha Macintyre, 229-70. Australia: ANU Press.

Author: Jean G. Zorn

Annotation:

"CEDAW has had a salutary effect on the island nations of the South Pacific, including Papua New Guinea. To say that, however, is not to say very much. To date, CEDAW’s effect has been limited— and the problems of women’s subordination and of widespread, systemic violence against women remain obdurate and intractable. Nevertheless, it is a beginning. Guided by the analyses of Meyersfeld and Koh, who pointed out that the first impact of an international law on the politics, economy and social ordering of any culture will most likely be found in the legal practices of that culture, I sought for evidence of CEDAW in the decisions handed down by judges of the state courts. And, indeed, I found a number of cases—still scattered, but potentially influential—in which judges have not only mentioned CEDAW’s existence, but have actually relied upon it in framing the common law and in applying domestic statutes. In other words, in the Meyersfeld/Koh terminology, judges are aiding the infiltration of this crucially important piece of international law into the domestic legal system" (Zorn, 2016, p. 262).

Topics: Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, International Law, International Human Rights, Rights, Women's Rights, Sexual Violence, SV against women, Violence Regions: Oceania Countries: Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu

Year: 2016

Peacebuilding Through a Gender Lens and the Challenges of Implementation in Rwanda and Côte d'Ivoire

Citation:

Hudson, Heidi. 2009. “Peacebuilding Through a Gender Lens and the Challenges of Implementation in Rwanda and Cote d'Ivoire.” Security Studies 18 (2): 287–318.

Author: Heidi Hudson

Abstract:

With the hypothesis in mind that discrimination against women increases the likelihood that a state will experience internal conflict, this article contends that considering gender is a key part of an effective peacebuilding process. Evidence gathered by studying peacebuilding from a feminist perspective, such as in Rwanda and Cote d’Ivoire, can be used to reconceptualize the peace agenda in more inclusive and responsible ways. Following from this, the article argues that a culturally contextual gender analysis is a key tool, both for feminist theory of peacebuilding and the practice of implementing a gender perspective, in all peace work. Using the tools of African feminisms to study African conflicts, this contribution warns against “adding women” without recognizing their agency, emphasizes the need for an organized women’s movement, and suggests directions for the implementation of international laws concerning women’s empowerment at the local level. The article concludes by suggesting that implementation of these ideas in practice is dependent on the way in which African feminists employ main- streaming, inclusionary, and transformational strategies within a culturally sensitive context of indigenous peacebuilding processes.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Ethnic/Communal Wars, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gender Analysis, Femininity/ies, Gender Balance, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equity, Genocide, Gendered Discourses, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, International Law, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Non-state armed groups, Peacebuilding, Peace Processes, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325, Sexual Violence, SV against women Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, West Africa Countries: Côte D'Ivoire, Rwanda

Year: 2009

Prosecuting Gender-Based Persecution: the Islamic State at the ICC

Citation:

Chertoff, Emily. 2017. “Prosecuting Gender-Based Persecution: the Islamic State at the ICC." Yale Law Journal 126 (4): 1050-117.

Author: Emily Chertoff

Abstract:

Reports suggest that Islamic State, the terrorist "caliphate," has enslaved and brutalized thousands of women from the Yazidi ethnic minority of Syria and Northern Iraq. International criminal law has a name for what Islamic State has done to these women: gender-based persecution. This crime, which appears in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), has only been charged once, and unsuccessfully, in the Court's two decades of existence. The case of the Yazidi women presents a promising opportunity to charge it again--and, potentially, to shift the lately unpromising trajectory of the Court, which has been weakened in recent months by a wave of defections by former member states. This Note uses heretofore unexamined jurisprudence of the ICC's Pre-Trial Chamber to elaborate--element by element--how the Prosecutor of the Court could charge gender-based persecution against members of Islamic State. I argue that the prosecution of Islamic State would not just vindicate the rights of Yazidi survivors of Islamic State violence. It would help to consolidate an international norm against gender-based persecution in armed conflict--a norm that, until now, international law has only incompletely realized. This Note argues that only by prosecuting the crime of gender-based persecution can international criminal law cognize violence, like the attacks on Yazidi women, that is motivated not just by race, ethnicity, or gender, but by the victims' intersecting gender and ethnic or racial identities. I conclude by reflecting on the role that a series of prosecutions against perpetrators of gender-based persecution might have in restoring the legitimacy of the ailing ICC.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Ethnicity, Women, Gender-Based Violence, International Law, International Criminal Law, Justice, International Tribunals & Special Courts, Race, Sexual Violence, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, Sexual Slavery, Terrorism, Violence Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Iraq, Syria

Year: 2017

The False Choice between Universalism and Religion/Culture

Citation:

Nayak, Meghana. 2013. “The False Choice between Universalism and Religion/Culture.” Politics & Gender 9 (01): 120–25. doi:10.1017/S1743923X12000785.

Author: Meghana Nayak

Abstract:

I seek to engage the authors in a deeper interrogation of their claims, particularly that societies can mitigate the evolutionary legacy of patriarchy by limiting the influence of religious/cultural enclaves and instead promoting universalism, as exemplified in CEDAW and international law. I challenge and politicize this alleged “choice” between universalism and cultural/religious enclaves/relativism, as it ultimately rests on a series of too-easy dichotomies (secular/religious, western/nonwestern) that may inadvertently stymie collaborative attempts between “western” and “non-western” feminists to challenge inequitable family law and gender violence. Hudson, Bowen, and Nielsen (2011) do offer critiques of western states. They are careful to point out nuances, subtleties, and complexities with their concept of religious/cultural enclaves. They also convincingly broaden the concept of gender equality beyond formal political rights to the kind of social, legal, and economic justice encapsulated in equitable family law and freedom from violence. And, they provoke an examination of why and how gender equality and gender violence are linked. But I suggest that their empirical research might have better traction by taking seriously two problematic implications of championing the “universal” as necessarily progressive: the failure to recognize patriarchy as part of universalism; and the inattention to why and how religious/cultural enclaves are patriarchal.

Topics: Feminisms, Patriarchy, International Law, International Human Rights

Year: 2013

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