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UN Security Council Resolutions 1325 and 1820: constructing gender in armed conflict and international humanitarian law

31-03-2010 Article, International Review of the Red Cross, No. 877, by Amy Barrow

This paper highlights important developing norms on women, peace and security. Although these norms are significant, they may not be radical enough to expand constructions of gender within international humanitarian law. This leaves existing provisions open to continued scrutiny.

 

Dr Amy Barrow is Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Law of the Chinese University of Hong Kong.    
 
Abstract 
While the Geneva Conventions contain gender-specific provisions, the reality of women’s and men’s experiences of armed conflict have highlighted gender limitations and conceptual constraints within international humanitarian law. Judgements at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) ad hoc tribunals have gone some way towards expanding the scope of definitions of sexual violence and rape in conflict. More recent developments in public international law, including the adoption of Security Council Resolutions 1325 and 1820 focused on women, peace and security, have sought to increase the visibility of gender in situations of armed conflict. This paper highlights important developing norms on women, peace and security. Although these norms are significant, they may not be radical enough to expand constructions of gender within international humanitarian law. This leaves existing provisions open to continued scrutiny.  


 
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