Printer-friendly versionSend by emailPDF version

International Law

Protection of Women in Armed Conflict

Citation:

Gardam, Judith, and Hilary Charlesworth. 2000. “Protection of Women in Armed Conflict.” Human Rights Quarterly 22 (1): 148-66.

Authors: Judith Gardam, Hilary Charlesworth

Abstract:

This article examines the role of the international law in protecting women during armed conflict. The article takes note of role of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in addressing needs of women during armed conflict. Women increasingly bear the major burden of armed conflict. In recent years particular attention has been given to the question of violence against women in armed conflict. The significance of these developments is considerable. Considerable work has been done regarding women and armed conflict by institutions concerned with human rights violations against women generally. Indeed, the process of identifying women's particular experiences and demonstrating the failure of the law to acknowledge them is more advanced in this context than in organizations focusing solely on armed conflict. It is evident today that women experience armed conflict in a different way than men. The article concludes that the ICRC is finally recognizing the need to address the specific needs of women in armed conflict. However, a serious commitment to real change is needed. As the traditional guardian of International Humanitarian Law, the ICRC must take concrete steps to make the law relevant to the lives of the majority of the world's population.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, International Law, International Humanitarian Law IHL, International Organizations, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights

Year: 2000

Women and the Atrocities of War

Citation:

Stephens, Beth, and Mary Ann Dadisman. 1993. “Women and the Atrocities of War.” American Bar Association 20 (3): 12–15.

Authors: Beth Stephens, Mary Ann Dadisman

Abstract:

The article highlights the need to revise the manner in which violence against women is addressed by international law as of 1003. Worldwide, women have called on the United Nations to incorporate women's human rights concerns into the international human rights agenda, particularly the right to be free from physical abuse. The widespread reporting of the brutal rapes inflicted on Moslem women by Bosnian Serb forces over the last year has given an unprecedented visibility to rapes committed during war. Estimates of the number of women raped--many repeatedly--range from several thousand to 20,000 and higher. Rapes have been committed in detention camps, including special prostitution camps, in homes and villages. There are several ways to approach the application of international law to the conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Customary international law includes the basic human rights norms that cannot be derogated and are recognized as binding on all nations. It applies during war as well as during peace, prohibiting gross human rights violations. Many of the norms governing the conduct of war have been recognized as customary international law, binding on all parties whether or not they have ratified the Geneva Conventions or any other international agreement.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Ethnic/Communal Wars, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, International Law, International Human Rights, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Rights, Human Rights, Sexual Violence, Male Perpetrators, Rape, SV against women Regions: Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: Bosnia & Herzegovina

Year: 1993

Rape in War: The Humanitarian Response

Citation:

Shanks, Leslie, and Michael J. Schull. 2000. “Rape in War: The Humanitarian Response.” Canadian Medical Association Journal 163 (9): 1152–56.

Authors: Leslie Shanks, Michael J. Schull

Abstract:

Women and children are vulnerable to sexual violence in times of conflict, and the risk persists even after they have escaped the conflict area. The impact of rape goes far beyond the immediate effects of the physical attack and has long-lasting consequences. We describe the humanitarian community's response to sexual violence and rape in times of war and civil unrest by drawing on the experiences of Medecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders and other humanitarian agencies. Health care workers must have a keen awareness of the problem and be prepared to respond appropriately. This requires a comprehensive intervention protocol, including antibiotic prophylaxis, emergency contraception, referral for psychological support, and proper documentation and reporting procedures. Preventing widespread sexual violence requires increasing the security in refugee camps. It also requires speaking out and holding states accountable when violations of international law occur. The challenge is to remain alert to these often hidden, but extremely destructive, crimes in the midst of a chaotic emergency relief setting.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Displacement & Migration, Refugee/IDP Camps, Gender, Women, Girls, Boys, Health, Humanitarian Assistance, International Law, Security, Sexual Violence, Rape

Year: 2000

Women, War, and Rape: Challenges Facing the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Citation:

Niarchos, Catherine N. 1995. “Women, War, and Rape: Challenges Facing the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.” Human Rights Quarterly 17 (4): 649-90.

Author: Catherine N. Niarchos

Abstract:

The International Tribunal established in 1993 to prosecute those responsible for atrocities committed in the territory of the former Yugoslavia since 1991 has jurisdiction over acts of violence against women, including rape, forced prostitution, and forced impregnation. An estimated 20,000-50,000 women were raped in acts which were not random but, in fact, appear to be part of a deliberate policy. Rape has always played a significant role in war. Historically, it has not been regarded as a serious crime; at most, it has been considered a crime against honor. In order for the Tribunal to successfully address rape in the former Yugoslavia, it must overcome the double legacy of the historic use of rape as a weapon of war and the tendency of international humanitarian law's to overlook and dismiss the experience of women.

Topics: Gender, Women, International Law, International Humanitarian Law IHL, Justice, International Tribunals & Special Courts, Sexual Violence, Rape, SV against women Regions: Europe, Balkans Countries: Yugoslavia (former)

Year: 1995

The Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Treatment of Sexual Violence Against Women

Citation:

Mantilla Falcón, Julissa. 2005. “The Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Treatment of Sexual Violence Against Women.” Human Rights Brief 12 (2): 1–4.

Author: Julissa Mantilla Falcón

Abstract:

Sexual violence against women is an expression of gender- based violence that affects thousands of women around the world during times of armed conflict, as well as in times of peace. Impunity and silence typically surround these cases.

Many times, victims do not discuss what happened to them because of feelings of shame and guilt. In most cases, government authorities and some sectors of civil society do not consider sexual violence to be a human rights violation. Fortunately, international human rights instruments and judicial decisions have begun to define sexual violence as a violation of human rights and, in some contexts, as a crime against humanity or a war crime.

The work of the Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission (PTRC) made important inroads in identifying sex- ual violence as a human rights violation. In its Final Report, the PTRC analyzed the situation of Peruvian women subjected to sexual violence during the armed conflict and countered the idea that it was simply a collateral damage of war. Asserting that sexual violence is a human rights violation, the PTRC established a record of the sexual violence that occurred during Peru’s 20 year armed conflict and recommended that the State institute a system of reparations for the victims.

The Final Report of the PTRC, released on August 28, 2003, includes a chapter on sexual violence against women. This article presents its main findings.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Society, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, International Law, International Human Rights, Justice, Crimes against Humanity, Impunity, Reparations, TRCs, War Crimes, Rights, Human Rights, Sexual Violence, SV against women Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Peru

Year: 2005

Enforcing Women's Rights Through Law

Citation:

Cook, Rebecca J. 1995. “Enforcing Women’s Rights Through Law.” Gender & Development 3 (2): 8–15.

Author: Rebecca Cook

Abstract:

This article argues that protection of women's rights requires states to undertake gender planning not simply to achieve value of justice, but in order to conform to legally-binding international human-rights standards.

Keywords: human rights, law enforcement, international law, gender empowerment, gender equality

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, International Law, International Human Rights, Rights, Women's Rights

Year: 1995

Women's International Human Rights Law: The Way Forward

Citation:

Cook, Rebecca J. 1993. “Women’s International Human Rights Law: The Way Forward.” Human Rights Quarterly 15 (2): 230-61.

Author: Rebecca Cook

Topics: Gender, Women, International Law, International Human Rights

Year: 1993

Feminist Methods in International Law

Citation:

Charlesworth, Hilary. 1999. “Feminist Methods in International Law.” The American Journal of International Law 93 (2): 379-94.

Author: Hilary Charlesworth

Keywords: feminism, international law

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, International Law

Year: 1999

Rape in War: Challenging the Tradition of Impunity

Citation:

Thomas, Dorothy Q., and Regan E. Ralph. 1994. “Rape in War: Challenging the Tradition of Impunity.” SAIS Review 14 (1): 81–99.

Authors: Dorothy Q. Thomas, Regan E. Ralph

Abstract:

Despite the prevalence of rape in conflicts throughout the world, wartime rape often has been mischaracterized and dismissed by military and political leaders, with the result that this abuse goes largely unpunished. The fact that rape is committed by men against women has contributed to its being portrayed as sexual or personal in nature, a portrayal that depoliticizes sexual abuse in conflict and results in it being ignored as a human rights abuse and a war crime. Documentary efforts reveal where and how rape functions as a tool of military strategy. Soldiers rape to subjugate and punish individual women and to terrorize communities and drive them into flight. Whenever committed by a state agent or an armed insurgent, whether a matter of policy or an individual incident of torture, wartime rape constitutes an abuse of power and a violation of international law.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Gender, International Law, Justice, Impunity, International Tribunals & Special Courts, War Crimes, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Rights, Human Rights, Sexual Violence, Male Perpetrators, Rape, SV against women

Year: 1994

Human Rights: A Feminist Perspective

Citation:

Binion, Gayle. 1995. “Human Rights: A Feminist Perspective.” Human Rights Quarterly 17 (3): 509–26.

Author: Gayle Binion

Abstract:

This paper explores the ways in which human rights might be understood if women's experience were the foundation for the theorizing and enforcement. The argument is not that there is but one feminist perspective -- indeed the title suggests that there might be many. Rather, it is argued that, if one works from the life experiences most common to women, the principles of human rights that would emerge would not necessarily reflect the universe of such rights as they are commonly understood by liberal nation states. While the prototypic "human rights" case involves the individual political activist imprisoned for the expression of his views or political organizing, forms of oppression that do not fit the Bill of Rights model of liberty are rarely recognized in international understandings or national asylum laws. These forms would include, inter alia, issues related to marriage, procreation, labor, property ownership, sexual repression, and other manifestations of unequal citizenship that are routinely viewed as private, nongovernmental, and reflective of cultural difference.

Keywords: international law, human rights, feminism

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

Year: 1995

Pages

© 2020 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at info@genderandsecurity.org.

Subscribe to RSS - International Law