ABSTRACT

This chapter provides a sense of the status of women's human rights in international law by revisiting the incorporation of gender-based violence into the human rights framework as a significant moment for feminist activism and scholarship. It shows the symbiotic relationship between the evolution of gender-based violence in international human rights law and the legal recognition of acts of wartime sexual violence. By charting the most crucial human rights developments from a feminist perspective, the chapter provides a sense of the importance of sexual violence in feminist discourses, while at the same tightening its analytical grip by interrogating the effects produced by the criminalisation of gender-based violence in international law. It questions whether in spite of the incorporation of gender-specific harms against women, or the adoption of gender mainstreaming policies, feminist inclusion strategies might have, nonetheless, reproduced unequal relations of power in their efforts to make women's gender-specific human rights violations legally identifiable.