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International Law

Climate Change and Gender Justice: International Policy and Legal Responses

Citation:

Kameri-Mbote, Patricia. 2013. “Climate Change and Gender Justice: International Policy and Legal Responses.” In Climate Change: International Law and Global Governance, edited by Oliver C. Ruppel, Christian Roschmann, and Katharina Ruppel-Schlichting, 1st ed., 323–48. Volume I: Legal Responses and Global Responsibility. Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft mbH. 

Author: Patricia Kameri-Mbote

Abstract:

Climate change raises issues of justice for different subjects of law – states and individuals. It is therefore not surprising that international policy and legal responses to climate change took equity concerns on board by considering differentiated responsibilities for climate change and taking respective capabilities of states into account in assigning the role to protect the climate system for the benefit of present and future generations of humankind. While the link between gender and climate change has not always been obvious, there is increasing evidence to demonstrate that women and men experience climate change differently; that climate change increases women’s vulnerability; and gender inequalities worsen women’s coping capacities. This article looks at the relationship between gender and climate change and how international policies and laws on gender and climate change address the interface. It also highlights the increasing advocacy for the inclusion of gender justice in international climate change debates. It concludes that including gender in the laws, policies and discussions on climate change brings a critical constituency to these platforms and also enhances the effectiveness of the interventions aimed at dealing with climate change because of the roles that women play in different programmes and contexts.

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

Year: 2013

Adding a Gender Perspective to China's Belt and Road Initiative as an International Human Rights Obligation

Citation:

Haina, Lu. 2019. “Adding a Gender Perspective to China's Belt and Road Initiative as an International Human Rights Obligation.” Frontiers of Law in China 14 (4): 455-77.

Author: Lu Haina

Abstract:

China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has a significant impact on the gender equality of receiving countries. It is noted that many BRI countries are facing challenges to realizing gender equality. Nevertheless, China has not developed a gender-mainstreaming or rights-based approach to implement the BRI. Hence, this paper argues that it is China’s international human rights obligation to develop such an approach and the country should adopt a gender policy in its BRI to ensure that its overseas investments and aid programs respect and promote gender equality. First, this paper maps China’s overseas investments and aid globally and particularly in BRI countries, and examines, in general, how the BRI may have an impact on gender equality both globally and in BRI countries. Second, the paper reviews international standards on gender equality in transnational trade and foreign investment and aid projects in the context of international human rights’ norms. It clarifies China’s obligations to promote gender equality within the BRI framework under international law. Third, based on the aforementioned findings, this paper conducts a gap analysis on the gender policy followed by China’s overseas investment and aid programs set within the context of international standards. Finally, the paper recommends some possible policy steps to ensure gender equality is mainstreamed in BRI projects of China.

Keywords: gender equality, Belt and Road Initiative, BRI, China's overseas investment, foreign aid, human rights

Topics: Development, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Infrastructure, International Law, International Human Rights, Multi-National Corporations, Privatization, Rights, Human Rights Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: China

Year: 2019

Transitioning Gender: Feminist Engagement with International Refugee Law and Policy 1950–2010

Citation:

Edwards, Alice. 2010. “Transitioning Gender: Feminist Engagement with International Refugee Law and Policy 1950-2010.” Refugee Survey Quarterly 29 (2): 21–45. 

Author: Alice Edwards

Abstract:

This article traces the history of feminist engagement with international refugee law and policy through five periods from 1950 to the present. While gender is not explicit in the 1951 Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, it has developed as a useful lens through which one can construct arguments for protection and rights. Nonetheless, the emphasis on gender in women's asylum claims and in policies and programmes on humanitarian assistance often minimizes the political, racial, and religious causes of persecution that affect women and the agency of women in making decisions based on these causes. The conflation of women-children-sexual violence-vulnerability has further led to instrumental yet unhelpful assumptions being made about refugee women. Efforts to bring women onto an equal footing with men through “gender mainstreaming” and “age, gender and diversity mainstreaming” though have not been without problems. In particular, the potential ousting of an emphasis on equality to a more generic focus on gender must be cautioned against. While recognizing the substantial progress made to date, the article argues for more and continuous engagement with feminism as a powerful methodology and political strategy as more work remains to achieve equality for refugee women.

Keywords: International Refugee Law, female refugees, asylum, 'feminism'

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Refugees, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Humanitarian Assistance, International Law

Year: 2010

International Law, COVID-19 and Feminist Engagement with the United Nations Security Council: The End of the Affair

Citation:

O’Rourke, Catherine. 2020. “International Law, COVID-19 and Feminist Engagement with the United Nations Security Council: The End of the Affair?” Feminist Legal Studies 28 (3): 321-8.

Author: Catherine O'Rourke

Abstract:

The gendered implications of COVID-19, in particular in terms of gender-based violence and the gendered division of care work, have secured some prominence, and ignited discussion about prospects for a ‘feminist recovery’. In international law terms, feminist calls for a response to the pandemic have privileged the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), conditioned—I argue—by two decades of the pursuit of the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda through the UNSC. The deficiencies of the UNSC response, as characterised by the Resolution 2532 adopted to address the pandemic, manifest yet again the identified deficiencies of the WPS agenda at the UNSC, namely fragmentation, securitisation, efficacy and legitimacy. What Resolution 2532 does bring, however, is new clarity about the underlying reasons for the repeated and enduring nature of these deficiencies at the UNSC. Specifically, the COVID-19 ‘crisis’ is powerful in exposing the deficiencies of the crisis framework in which the UNSC operates. My reflections draw on insights from Hilary Charlesworth’s seminal contribution ‘International Law: A Discipline of Crisis’ to argue that, instead of conceding the ‘crisis’ framework to the pandemic by prioritising the UNSC, a ‘feminist recovery’ must instead follow Charlesworth’s exhortation to refocus on an international law of the everyday.


Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Gender-Based Violence, Health, International Law, International Organizations, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS

Year: 2020

The Nature of Women, Peace and Security: A Colombian Perspective

Citation:

Yoshida, Keina, and Lina M Céspedes-Báez. 2021. “The Nature of Women, Peace and Security: A Colombian Perspective.” International Affairs 97 (1): 17–34.

Authors: Keina Yoshida, Lina M Céspedes-Báez

Abstract:

On 12 November 2019, the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP), handed down a landmark decision in the case of ‘Katsa Su’ concerning the Awa indigenous group in Colombia. The Colombian conflict has particularly affected indigenous groups, such as the Awa people, and has also affected the territory in which they live. In this article, we explore the decision of the JEP, within a broader analysis of the Colombian peace agreement and consider how it might help us to think about the place of the environment in the Women, Peace and Security agenda and in international law. We call for a gendered and intersectional approach to environmental peacebuilding which is attentive to the importance of gender and different groups. Further, we highlight how the Colombian example shows how concepts such as relief, recovery and reparations are often confined in international law to women's recovery and redress with respect to sexual violence and yet, this conceptualization should be much broader. The Katsa Su case provides an example of the fact that reparations and redress must address other forms of violence, spiritual and ecological, which women also suffer in times of conflict.

Keywords: Americas, Energy and Environment, International Governance, Law and Ethics, conflict, Security and Defence

Topics: Conflict, Environment, Gender, Women, Indigenous, Infrastructure, Energy, International Law, Peacebuilding, Security, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, Violence Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2021

The Making of a ‘Charismatic’ Carbon Credit: Clean Cookstoves and ‘Uncooperative’ Women in Western Kenya

Citation:

Wang, Yiting, and Catherine Corson. 2015. “The Making of a ‘Charismatic’ Carbon Credit: Clean Cookstoves and ‘Uncooperative’ Women in Western Kenya.” Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space 47 (10): 2064–79.

Authors: Yiting Wang, Catherine Corson

Abstract:

The Kyoto Protocol under the United Nations Convention on Climate Change first legitimized state-to-state carbon trading in 1997 with the goal of cost-effectively reducing carbon emissions. Voluntary carbon markets for private trading have emerged since, often claimed by their proponents to pioneer innovative projects that reduce poverty as well as carbon emissions. We use the case of a cookstove project, financed by the carbon emissions reductions generated when rural Kenyan women switch from traditional to energy-efficient cookstoves, to illuminate the complex process through which ‘charismatic’ pro-poor carbon offsets are produced. We highlight the role of women's labor in creating the initial carbon emissions reductions, which then become tradable virtual commodities through a series of studies to measure and verify the associated carbon savings, as well as the signing of a contract that transfers the property rights to the verified savings from the stove user to an international nonprofit carbon credit developer. We argue that, while introducing some improvements in cooking time, smoke level, and labor, the improved cookstove carbon offset ultimately constitutes a gendered, ongoing accumulation by decarbonization that, by securing the means of future wealth that could be generated from the project for investors in the Global North, marginalizes rural Kenyan women.

Keywords: cookstoves, gender, carbon trading, foreign aid, Kenya

Topics: Development, Economies, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Women, Infrastructure, Energy, International Law Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Kenya

Year: 2015

Out of The Shadows? The Inclusion of Men and Boys in Conceptualisations of Wartime Sexual Violence

Citation:

Touquet, Heleen, and Ellen Gorris. 2016. "Out of The Shadows? The Inclusion of Men and Boys in Conceptualisations of Wartime Sexual Violence." Reproductive Health Matters 24 (47): 36-46. 

Authors: Heleen Touquet, Ellen Gorris

Abstract:

Researchers increasingly acknowledge that men and boys are frequent victims of sexual violence in conflict alongside women and girls, who remain the group that is disproportionately affected. This increasing awareness has contributed to significant efforts to include men and boys in conceptualisations of conflict related sexual violence in policy as well as in international criminal law. This article analyses the changes that have occurred in these two fields in recent years. We argue that while a major shift towards including male victims in international policy on wartime sexual violence took place in 2013-2014, this development has yet to be consolidated in salient policy guidelines and handbooks. While men and boys’ potential victimisation is frequently recognised, most policy documents do not treat the topic of male victimisation in depth. International criminal law on the other hand has pioneered gender-neutral and inclusive definitions. However, the interpretation and application of the gender-inclusive approach is often left to the discretion of judges and the prosecution who at times fail to take the experience of males fully into account, signalling the continuing influence of gender stereotypes and deeply held cultural myths. A renewed effort to fully integrate male victims into conceptualisations of conflict-related sexual violence in both policy and law is therefore advised.

Keywords: sexual violence, gender-based violence, male victims, conflict, 'gender'

Topics: Conflict, Gender, International Law, International Criminal Law, Justice, Male Victims, Sexual Violence, SV against Men

Year: 2016

Domestic and Family Violence in Post-Conflict Communities: International Human Rights Law and the State's Obligation to Protect Women and Children

Citation:

Bradley, Samantha. 2018. "Domestic and Family Violence in Post-Conflict Communities: International Human Rights Law and the State’s Obligation to Protect Women and Children." Health and Human Rights 20 (2): 123-36.

Author: Samantha Bradley

Abstract:

Post-conflict communities consistently experience high rates of domestic and family violence (DFV) against women and children. An end to violence in the public sphere is widely seen to precipitate the escalation of violence in the private sphere. This paper presents the argument that protecting women and children from DFV should be an essential public policy goal in post-conflict communities. Furthermore, the imperative for placing DFV on the post-conflict agenda is derived from states’ obligations under international human rights law. Jurisprudence is clear that if a state has knowledge of DFV yet fails to take reasonable steps to ensure victims’ safety and to investigate complaints, then that state may be violating the fundamental human rights to life, to freedom from inhuman and degrading treatment, to freedom from discrimination, and to health. Problematizing DFV as a violation of states’ obligations under international human rights law, rather than dismissing it as a private sphere issue, should lay the groundwork for post-conflict states’ conceptualization of the protection of women and children as a non-negotiable facet of peace-building agendas.

Topics: Domestic Violence, Gender, Women, Girls, Governance, Post-Conflict Governance, International Law, International Human Rights, Post-Conflict, Peacebuilding, Violence

Year: 2018

The Law on the Use of Force: A Feminist Analysis

Citation:

Heathcote, Gina. 2011. The Law on the Use of Force: A Feminist Analysis. New York: Routledge Research in International Law. 

Author: Gina Heathcote

Annotation:

Summary:
The book presents the international laws on the use of force whilst demonstrating the unique insight a feminist analysis offers this central area of international law. The book highlights key conceptual barriers to the enhanced application of the law of the use of force, and develops international feminist method through rigorous engagement with the key writers in the field. The book looks at the key aspects of the UN Charter relevant to the use of force - Article 2(4), Article 51 and Chapter VII powers - as well as engaging with contemporary debates on the possibility of justified force to meet self-determination or humanitarian goals. The text also discusses the arguments in favour of the use of pre-emptive force and reflects on the role feminist legal theories can play in exposing the inconsistencies of contemporary arguments for justified force under the banner of the war on terror. Throughout the text state practice and institutional documentation are analysed, alongside key instances of the use of force. The book makes a genuine, urgently needed contribution to a central area of international law, demonstrating the capacity of feminist legal theories to enlarge our understanding of key international legal dilemmas. (Summary from Routledge)

Topics: Feminisms, International Law, Humanitarian Assistance, Terrorism, Violence

Year: 2011

New Directions in Women, Peace and Security

Citation:

Basu, Soumita, Paul Kirby, and Laura Shepherd, eds. 2020. New Directions in Women, Peace and Security. Bristol: Bristol University Press.

Authors: Soumita Basu, Paul Kirby, Laura Shepherd

Annotation:

Summary:
What does gender equality mean for peace, justice, and security? At the turn of the 21st century, feminist advocates persuaded the United Nations Security Council to adopt a resolution that drew attention to this question at the highest levels of international policy deliberations.
Today the Women, Peace and Security agenda is a complex field, relevant to every conceivable dimension of war and peace. This groundbreaking book engages vexed and vexing questions about the future of the agenda, from the legacies of coloniality to the prospects of international law, and from the implications of the global arms trade to the impact of climate change. It balances analysis of emerging trends with specially commissioned reflections from those at the forefront of policy and practice. (Summary from Bristol University Press)
 
Table of Contents:
United Nations Security Council Resolutions on Women, Peace and Security
Foreword: Toward Strategic Instrumentalism
Anne Marie Goetz
 
1. Women, Peace and Security: A Critical Cartography
Soumita Basu, Paul Kirby and Laura J. Shepherd
 
Part I: Encounters
2. South Sudanese Women on the Move: An Account of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda
Rita M. Lopidia and Lucy Hall
 
3. The Price of Peace? Frictional Encounters on Gender, Security and the ‘Economic Peace Paradigm’
Nicole George
 
4. Difficult Encounters with the WPS Agenda in South Asia: Re- scripting Globalized Norms and Policy Frameworks for a Feminist Peace
Rita Manchanda
 
5. Best Practice Diplomacy and Feminist Killjoys in the Strategic State: Exploring the Affective Politics of Women, Peace and Security
Minna Lyytikäinen and Marjaana Jauhola
 
6. Between Protection and Participation: Affect, Countering Violent Extremism and the Possibility for Agency
Elizabeth Pearson
 
7. Lessons Lived in Gender and International Criminal Law
Patricia Viseur Sellers and Louise Chappell
 
8. Holding Feminist Space
Sam Cook and Louise Allen
 
Part II: Horizons
9. Global Racial Hierarchies and the Limits of Localization via National Action Plans
Toni Haastrup and Jamie J. Hagen
 
10. Towards a Postcolonial, Anti- Racist, Anti- Militarist Feminist Mode of Weapons Control
Anna Stavrianakis
 
11. The Privatization of War: A New Challenge for the Women, Peace and Security Agenda
Marta Bautista Forcada and Cristina Hernández Lázaro
 
12. Human Trafficking, Human Rights and Women, Peace and Security: The Sound of Silence
Gema Fernández Rodríguez de Liévana and Christine Chinkin
 
13. Addressing Future Fragility: Women, Climate Change and Migration
Briana Mawby and Anna Applebaum
 
14. Feminist Challenges to the Co-optation of WPS: A Conversation with Joy Onyesoh and Madeleine Rees
Joy Onyesoh, Madeleine Rees and Catia Cecilia Confortini

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Environment, Climate Change, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, International Law, International Organizations, Peace and Security, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, Weapons /Arms

Year: 2020

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