Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar



International Law of Armed Conflict, also referred to as Humanitarian law sets to define standards and rules to be applied over armed conflicts. The intention is to limit the effects of war. But, in this humanitarian act, one significant section is often ignored. The Imbalance in terms of suffering inflicted upon women is not cured by the application and regulation proposed by the current legal regime.

The law to a large extent still holds the parochial view of who is to be protected. When Henry Dunant had the glimpse of the Battle of Solferino, probably the suffering of women could not be experienced which has led to the perpetuation of an inherent bias in the structure of law. In the garb of military necessity, protection of combatants is preferred. No neutral stand point is created where the deteriorated condition of women due to war, along with threats of rape and starvation, is addressed. There is an undue focus laid upon sexual violence which limits other areas from which women face danger including economic and social concerns. When such a narrow compass is being used to envisage the condition of a profoundly affected segment of society, it casts doubt on the fairness and credibility of the legal regime.

Some comprehensive remedies are being used at the international forum but they are either contradictory or insufficient. This research paper would give an overview of this discriminatory aspect of the law and recommend a participative model of remedy to ameliorate the condition of women and children as done by the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women.


Present research is in response to the recent cases of violence in conflicts. Women have been found to be easy targets and therefore constitute a group of vulnerable victims. The efficiency of the law would depend on how far it is able to cater to the protection of this group.

The deplorable condition of women was visible in a variety of conflicts, such gruesome violence against women has been documented. Some classic examples include, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Darfur, Sudan, former Yugoslavia, Northern Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Côte D’Ivoire, Burundi, Chad, Afghanistan and Peru.[1] Most countries with a high maternal mortality rate are the ones in the state of conflict (example- Somalia, Liberia and Angola).[2]

The Law of Armed Conflict consists of mechanisms to regulate such conflicts and minimize their effects on humanity. But, the imbalance created when it comes to the benefit of women is highly problematic given the pathetic state in which women have to survive during and after an armed conflict. Hence, these gaps in the law and suggestions for improvement would be the main aim of the article.

Understanding of the Conflict Scenario

A comprehensive analysis of a conflict scenario would give a clear picture of the situation of women. For a society ridden with conflict, scholars have distinguished various stages. They are-

  1. Conflict
  2. Armed Conflict
  3. Post Conflict

These are the stages of violence wherein it transposes from the first stage to the last. It has been found that violence and crimes against women escalate in the post-war phase, that is in the aftermath of war, when the society is in the mode of transition.[3]

Causes of Harm inflicted Upon Women

The problem lies in the fact that when the conflict occurs, the pre-existing and discriminatory notions about the inferiority of women surface and stigmatize them. A sort of free-fire zone is created where males, both soldiers and combatants target the vulnerable women.[4] Women who try to report the crimes face encounters and reprisals at the hands of the perpetrators.[5]

There are a variety of other factors that determine the effect and harm upon the women in the situation of a war. They are socio-economic background, urban-rural divide, class, race, sexuality, and employment.[6]

Responsible Party for the Harm

Who is responsible for the crimes which are committed against the women. Is it the government or the rebels? It is found in research that there are various perpetrators- armed forces, private military contractors, militias, even peacekeepers and civilians.[7]

Situation of Women during the Armed Conflict

In the aftermath of a war or conflict, there is a huge amount of trauma and limited availability of services. Women become easy targets in such a messy situation and due to the ravaged demography, it becomes difficult to report the accurate number of cases of sexual violence.[8]

Rape would be one form of violence that takes place against women in the state of conflict. With an attack, whether military or bio-chemical, there is a huge strain in the daily life of a household. In such a case, there are a lot of socio-economic difficulties which the houses face. Women often burdened with domestic responsibilities bear the brunt of this challenge naturally.

Due to this imbalance, there have been reports of depression found among Syrian women. It was because men were busy fighting outside so the women had to cater to all the needs of the house and children amidst such hard and uncertain times.[9]

Problem aggravates in case men die and the woman becomes the sole breadwinner of the house in the wartime situation. They are forced to find food and other essential services to survive the crisis. There befalls an enormous social burden upon the women to give security to their children and fulfil other responsibilities side by side.[10]

In the conflict-ridden society, there will be a natural breakdown of marriages and family life.[11] It leads to a huge psychological damage for the women to cope with.

Worsened Situation Post the Armed Conflict

Even if women flee and find space in the refugee camps, it is proven that there exists a huge risk of gender-based violence and a poorly defunct health care system. There is an intense level of discrimination faced by such women which violates their right to land and housing.[12]

There are no sufficient sanitary facilities being provided to the women at such times. Then, living in a tent, especially in the times of menstruation would be an inexorable situation for the women to tackle.[13]

Practical Instances

In Syria, an Independent Commission on Inquiry gave a report for the humanitarian breaches in 2013. It found record of sexual violence committed upon women on a large scale. Threat of Rape, Raids, terrorizing women and children and delayed reporting of the rape cases was found to be a common scene.[14]

Similar was the conduct of ISIS or ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) wherein they committed reportedly savage rapes and explicitly targeted women and children. The trend found was that they targeted women from primarily the minority communities. The UN Special Representatives had explicitly condemned such brutalities.[15]

The grave instances of such horrendous crimes get documented in the proceedings of the International Criminal Court. In the witness testimonies, there have been stories of forced pregnancy, forced nudity, sexual humiliation, forced marriage and abductions. For each of the crimes, it is women who are at the receiving end.[16]

Response of the Law of Armed Conflict

The primary framework within which the law of armed conflict functions is the Hague[17] and Geneva[18] conventions along with its Protocol.[19] The status of women in an armed conflict needs to be re-assessed as there are a range of laws that govern their status; it is a matter of international security as well as criminal law.

The United Nations keeps on publishing declarations and reports which are limited to paper while the other countries inch forward their political ambitions by military interventions. This has been seen in Afghanistan and Iraq.[20]

Principle of Military necessity

There were substantial civilian targets during war times which still revive dreadful memories of the past. When it comes to attack on civilians, rape on women has been a very predominant method of inflicting injury and harm. It has been considered as a continued method of deliberate attack on civilian population and an incentive for fighting in siege situations.[21]

It was only the Fourth Geneva Convention[22] which codified the rules related to civilian protection. Article 27 (2) covers the heinous crime of rape. It provides that-

Women shall be especially protected against any attack of their honour, in particular against rape, enforced prostitution, or any form of indecent assault.

But the loophole in this convention is the absence of military operations. It means that there is no protection provided from them and such provisions have been simultaneously removed.[23] Hence the title of the fourth convention becomes misleading, because it says Protection of Civilians in Time of War.[24] The very definition of “Protected Persons” does not include persons in the belligerent state; Even though they may be the nationals of the respective party only.[25]

The reason for such kind of distinction in law has been found to be the archaic principle of military necessity.[26] It lays down more focus on the lives of combatants than of the civilians because the former would be of more usage to the country and the forces in the times of war. Thus, at the cost of humanitarian values, combatants are favoured to fulfil a vested interest.[27]

This principle forms the backdrop of the development of international law of armed conflict. The rules governing prohibition of weapons and prisoners of war have been drafted for the purposes of the protection of those who participate in the activity of war,[28] hence leaves behind those who suffer the brutal wrath of war and its consequences.

Such a distinction between combatants and non-combatants has an inherent gendered dimension. The social construct of men being the defenders of the society get their place in the group of combatants whereas the women helplessly fall into the second category.[29] Due to the systemic privileges accorded with men, even the law governing their future has fallen into the trap of endless discrimination. There are more laws and regulations protecting the combatants than the non-combatants.[30]

Blatant Gaps and Problems with the Law

The irony of the law governing women in the situation of armed conflict is the aggravated situation as mentioned above and a bleak response from the side of law. An empirical study has found that only 16 percent of the peace agreements involve a reference to women. Though a gender equality clause usually exists, other particular concerns of women are not being dealt with.[31]

Imbalance in Law

The principle of military necessity, as showcased in the previous section, utterly fails to be called a neutral standpoint so as to justify the enactment of rules for military operations. There is an imbalance in law when it comes to the public – private dichotomy which prevails in the rules as well. Since men would be out in the war, their requirement is more as compared to women who would be inside hence needing lesser protection.

When it comes to balancing combatant casualties over civilian casualties, the law to achieve the military goal focuses more on prohibiting the indiscriminate use of force. Such a prioritization is clear from the language of the Protocol I. In its Article 51 (5), the effect of indiscriminate attacks on civilian life has been termed as incidental.[32] Thus, the maximum emphasis is laid upon the military victory of the state as compared to the holistic success of all its constituents.

Increased focus on Sexual Violence

A principle of command responsibility has been followed so as to prohibit the crimes of the nature of sexual violence. It means that countries should issue clear orders when it comes to criminalising sexual offences and provide a strong degree of deterrence against the same.[33]

Sad reality is that even the peacekeeping operations have been found to be involved in activities of sexual exploitation. For stopping such incidents, a zero tolerance policy has been put forward by the Security Council to punish those involved in sexual abuse in the United Nations Peacekeeping Operations.[34]

Resolution 1820 adopted by the Security Council on June 19, 2008 for the first time linked elimination of sexual violence within the council’s responsibility of maintaining international peace and security. There was a specific demand inserted in the resolution saying that the member states have to take appropriate measures so as to ensure protection of the civilians, including women and girls. They have to be saved from all forms of sexual violence.[35]

Similar was the approach followed by the Security Council in its Resolution Number 1888, adopted as on September 30, 2009. To address sexual violence in armed conflict, Secretary General was requested to appoint a special representative for providing strategic leadership in coordinating among key stakeholders. A team of experts was suggested for working with the national governments to strengthen the rule of law for tackling sexual violence in armed conflict.[36]

Further efforts by the Council had a deeper focus on the problem of addressing the issue of sexual violence. Those credibly suspected of committing such crimes were mandated to be reported and their list should be prepared by the Secretary General.[37] Prosecution of sexual offences has been effectively linked with deterring the crimes through the resolution 2106 in 2013.[38]

Now the question arises as to where does the problem lie? It is in the fact that there is an undue weight laid upon one of the causes of women’s suffering that is, sexual violence. Such a concentration would obscure other factors which are the cause of violations of human rights in the situation of an armed conflict.[39] Such factors are destruction of property, lack of food and death of male members of the family. [40] Since women become the breadwinners consequentially, they face deeper levels of troubles as compared to men.

Inequality in the treatment of men and women

The law of armed conflict appears to be giving an ineffective and incomplete remedy to the problems faced by women during the conflicted times of war and armed strife. The Geneva Convention[41]  which constitutes this law is clearly biased towards the protection of combatants over the protection of civilians, which includes women and children.

The bias is showcased from the non-regulation of the continuous bombing that takes place during the armed struggles. Such attacks, mostly from the aerial path, affect the civilians, women and children, the most.[42] Aerial bombing has taken a huge toll on civilian life during the two world wars.[43] But this severe offence of human dignity has remained largely unregulated.[44]

It is agreed that the principle of non- combatant immunity has been the foundation of the law of armed conflict, but this principle was adopted very late, post the promulgation of the Geneva convention.[45] It was only in 1977 that this principle was finally codified.[46] But the unfortunate part is that the majority of states have not ratified this protocol yet.[47]

Due to the contrary conduct by states, the principle of civilian protection has not taken the shape of custom. It is evidenced from the United States interference in the Gulf region with its coalition forces that had put the lives of citizens in danger.[48]

Hence, the law of armed conflict cannot be termed as a law meeting proportional requirements.[49] Also there exist no provisions that regulate economic sanctions thus; the law is not comprehensive and expansive.[50]



Measures taken to Ameliorate the Condition of Women

The Security Council had played an important role in the development of the law of international armed conflict. It has transformed itself into a forum for normative standards regarding status of women in armed conflict.

“Aspirations Fall Short of Reality”

In 2000 the theme of Women, Peace and Security was launched by the Council abbreviated as WPS.[51] It was done through the Resolution Number 1325 passed by the council in October 2000.[52] It was a novel and required beginning in the direction of addressing the needs and concerns of vulnerable sections of women in the situation of a conflict.

The Resolution imbibed within itself two critical objectives.

  • Firstly, it encouraged women’s participation in peacekeeping operations and processes. Hence, it becomes the responsibility of national governments and the Secretary General to ensure that women are involved at each stage of conflict prevention, management and resolution.[53]
  • The second aim or objective of the resolution was maintenance and promotion of peace and security with a gender perspective. It means that the special needs of women and girls would be considered when it comes to state building in the post conflict process.[54]

With these two aims, the resolutio in itself becomes a groundbreaking initiative in adopting a feminist approach to law. After all, it was the result of activism and diplomacy by the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) and governments of Bangladesh and Namibia.[55]

In impact of this development in international law, a trickling effect could be seen in the policy framework and national jurisprudence. One can see adoption of national action plans by UN member states. In 2015, there were around 48 national action plans framed.[56] Even the report of the Secretary General to the Security Council on the topic of Transitional Justice had utilized much of the language of the Resolution 1325 only.[57]

But this resolution did not bind the member states since it was not adopted under the Chapter 7 of the United Nations Charter.[58] Another problem was that the issue of women’s security is not separately dealt with even after considering the adverse effects the war and armed conflict has in an aggregated volume upon the women. This resolution placed women’s security within the Security Council’s primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security.[59]

But, even after all this show and grandeur, the institutional activities, the development of international law was limited to paper only. The Secretary General himself, looking at the grim reality admitted that the aspirations fall short of reality.[60] The gendered concerns are not comprehensively addressed, since there is no deep understanding documented for considering the existence of power imbalances of society between men and women.

Contradiction in Remedy

On 18th October, 2013 Security Council adopted Resolution Number 2122[61] which is a crucial international legal document when it comes to protection of women in various conflict situations. The source of this nuanced and broader document was obviously the convention[62]  and optional protocol[63]. But the promulgation of this resolution narrates the unfortunate gaps in the implementation of the previous regimes.

This resolution itself acknowledges in its Preamble that there were persistent implementation deficits in the agenda of women. Peace and security was adopted in 2000.[64] It shows how the resolutions have been ineffective and a failure when it comes to protecting women through law of armed conflict. Thus, authors have termed this resolution as a statement of apology for past failures.[65]

Apart from technocal improvements in the procedural requirements of United Nations officials[66] there have been certain substantive developments. The empowerment of women and girls through gender equality measures has been encouraged through participation in political and electoral processes.[67] Widening of agendas can be seen in this resolution. It is because it does not only focus on sexual violence but also problems like forced disappearance and gendered asylum laws.[68]


But, even this novel solution suffers from its inherent limitations. There is a persistent contradiction in the remedy offered. It is because on one hand women are given the responsibility of peace building and being the catalysts of change. But on the other, they are reduced to a group of individuals having special needs who require protection from a dominant male group who can provide proper security to the needy.[69]

This creates an unavoidable hierarchy of preferences between the purportedly protected group and the group which is to be protected.

Hence the discriminatory aspect of gender roles inextricably found its space in the resolution intended to vanquish all forms of discrimination.[70] The intention can be well-founded but the execution of its provisions is problematic. On one hand, gender-based violence is being focussed upon but on the other, the terms like women and girls are used. This confusing terminology leaves behind the agonising concern of men and boys who are also the victims of conflict ridden violence.[71]

The resolutions are also more theoretical in nature and not considering the material surroundings of the offences. Without linking the violence of women with structural problems in political economy and militarisation, the resolutions go on prescribing voluminous and bulky paper-centric responses. The important factor of power struggle for control of material resources is also not included in the purview of consideration for the resolutions.[72] Hence they are not exhaustive enough to be effective.

Another hierarchy can be seen from the humanitarian Marxist perspective. If the resolutions of the Security council are empirically tested and the target countries are recorded, it would be found that the threat of sexual offences has been particularly found in countries located in the southern hemisphere. This reignites the Global-North versus Global-South debate. The so-called hierarchy between the two, perpetuates the notion of muscular humanitarianism of the international community.[73]

Practical Instance of Democratic Republic of Congo

There were many instances of mass rape and murder found in North Kivu at DRC. This was a testimony of gender-based violence and the situation boiled up to become a grave humanitarian crisis. Hence to address the same, the Council increased the mandate of the Peacekeeping operation.

Brigade could now involve it in stabilizing the armed groups, make room for the stabilization process and contribute to lessening the danger of armed groups to women and children so as to prevent sexual offences.[74]

Required Response from the International Community

Though less, but significant attempts are being made by the United Nations to address the concerns of women by not projecting them as vulnerable but making them responsible for bringing change. There are some resolutions by the Security Council whereby women’s participation in the stages of conflict resolution is being encouraged.

In resolution number 1889 adopted in 2009, Security Council acknowledged the need of addressing other concerns apart from sexual violence. It mentioned the importance of other factors which affect the well being of women in the situation of armed conflicts, like- access to health care, socio-economic services, legal assistance and psychological support.[75]

Hence it is suggested that such measures be taken at a more active level whereby participation of women is also encouraged instead of labeling them as mere victims. One testimony of such important step taken by the international community is the working of United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, in short called CEDAW.

General Recommendation 30

It gave its General Recommendation Number 30[76] for prevention of crimes against women. The aim is to aid the state parties to bring legislative changes in their domestic spheres so that they fulfil their international obligations of giving protection to women.[77]

This international responsibility is mentioned in the Women’s convention whereby states have to take legal and other measures to implement the principle of gender equality.[78] This document has divided the responsibility in three phases –

  1. Conflict Prevention
  2. Conflict
  3. Post- Conflict[79]

In this Recommendation, the diverse impact of the conflict upon the women is being analyzed by the Committee. It has taken into consideration other factors like access to justice, economic concerns, education, and health care. It is broad enough to include other situations of concern. Such a category can include a variety of situations like political strife, ethnic violence, communal tensions etc.[80]

These recommendations are appreciated because they tend to widen the scope of protection of women. It acknowledges the fact that the violence exacerbates in the post conflict situation rather than the conflict situation, therefore perpetuating the existing framework of inequalities.[81]


But this is not free from problematic issues. It equates gender with women. For example, having female police officers in investigation of human rights offences is considered as a ‘gender sensitive practise’.[82] Another problem is the creation of a generalized notion of vulnerability present in the women which makes them an all-time victim in the situation of an armed conflict. Structural disadvantage is considered to increase this vulnerability and it is predominantly presumed that women can never freely consent to have sexual relationships.[83] Instead of bringing in the principle of agency, this document harps on categorizing women as a weak section.


Such resolutions and recommendations are also a testimony to the fact that a lot may be done in the arena of the international community, but less is reflected and executed in the actual arena of conflict, that is ground zero.[84] This creates a puzzling effect in the jurisprudence of international law governing armed conflict. On one hand, there are pompous terminologies used in the name of protection of women. But on the other, there exists a vast contrast in terms of practical realities.

Hence, there is a good attempt from the side of the international community in addressing the concern of women, but it is very scattered and there is a lack of substantive enforcement for the betterment of women.[85]  Confusion may arise as to why this source of law has been included in the framework of armed conflict, but it appears to be a part of human rights.

The General Recommendation by CEDAW has itself provided the answer through its General Recommendation Number 19 whereby forcible occupation of territories and armed conflict were acknowledged. They were agreed to be responsible for the increased rate of prostitution, trafficking and sexual assault of women.[86] Hence, the state is obligated to protect its women even in the state of armed conflict. The impact on the women in terms of consequences of equality have to be catered to.[87]


The nature of discourse that revolves around security and its practice is highly gendered in nature. Though the resolutions adopted by the Security Council have included the agenda of women security within their fold, linking women’s safety with the political overtures can be dangerous.[88] It can give priority to coercive actions in the form of military attacks. And, the international community would very well justify its actions on the excuse of women’s security. The need is for the states to encourage and develop a participative model for the protection and amelioration of women rights during the state of an armed conflict.

[1] U.N. Secretary General, In-depth Study on All Forms of Violence against Women, ¶ 6, U.N. Doc. A/61/122/Add.1 (July 6, 2006).

[2] Nadine Puechguirbal, Greater Need, Fewer Resources: Ensuring Adequate Health Care for Women during Armed Conflict, International Committee of the Red Cross (Mar. 3, 2009, 10:00 AM),

[3] Sheila Meintjes et. al., The Aftermath Women in Post-Conflict Transformation 78 (Zed Books, 2001).

[4] Karima Bennoune, Do We Need New International Law to Protect Women in Armed Conflict?, 38 Case Wes. Res. J. of Int’l L. 363, 370 (2006).

[5] U.N. Secretary General, Sexual Violence in Conflict, ¶ 8, U.N. Doc. A/67/792-S/2013/149 (Mar. 14, 2013) (hereinafter SG Report on Sexual Violence).

[6] Ruth Rubio-Marin, The Gender of Reparations 18 (Cambridge University Press, 2009).

[7] Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women Gen. Recom. No. 30, Women in Conflict Prevention, Conflict and Post-Conflict Situations, U.N. Doc. CEDAW/C/GC/30 at 35 (Oct. 18, 2013) (hereinafter General Recommendation).

[8] U.N. Secretary General, Women and Peace and Security, ¶ 7, U.N. Doc. S/2014/693 (Sept. 23, 2014) (hereinafter SG Report on Women).

[9] Rep. of the Independent Int’l Comm’n of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/27/60 (2014) (hereinafter Syria Report).

[10] Rep. of the U.N. Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/12/48 (2009) (hereinafter Gaza Conflict Report).

[11] Id.

[12] Chaloka Beyani (Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons), Rep. on the Internally Displaced Persons, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/23/44 (Mar. 18, 2013).

[13] Gaza Conflict Report, supra note 10.

[14] Rep. of the Independent Int’l Comm’n of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic, U.N. Doc. A/ HRC/24/46 (2013); See also Syria Report, supra note 9.

[15] United Nations Iraq, (last visited Mar. 30, 2020). See also Aki Peritz et. al., The Islamic State of Sexual Violence, Foreign Policy (Sept. 16, 2014, 11:00 AM),

[16] Prosecutor v. Bemba, ICC-01/05-01/08, Decision Pursuant to Article 61(7)(a) and (b) of the Rome Statute, ¶ 303 ( June 15, 2009); Prosecutor v. Lubanga, ICC- 01/04-01/06, Judgment Pursuant to Article 74 of the Statute, ¶ 208 (Mar. 14, 2012); Prosecutor v. Brima, Kamara, Borbor, Case No. SCSL-2004-16-A, 22, Appeals Judgment, ¶ 367 (Special Court for Sierra Leone Feb. 27, 2008); Prosecutor v. Akayesu, Case No ICTR-96-4, Judgment of Chamber I, ¶290 (Int’l Crim. Trib. For Rwanda Sept. 2, 1998).

[17] Hague Convention (II) with Respect to the Laws and Customs of War on Land and its Annex: Regulations Concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Land art. 46, July 29, 1899, 32 Stat. 1803, 1 Bevans 247; Hague Convention (IV) Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land, with Annex of Regulations art. 42, 18 Oct. 18, 1907, 36 Stat. 2277, 1 Bevans 631 (hereinafter Hague Convention IV).

[18] Geneva Convention (I) for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the field, Aug. 12, 1949, 6 U.S.T. 3114, 75 U.N.T.S. 31 (entered into force Oct. 21, 1950) (hereinafter Geneva Convention I)

[19] Protocol (II) Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and Relating to the Protection of Victims of Non-International Armed Conflicts, June 8, 1977, 1125 U.N.T.S. 609 (entered into force Dec. 7, 1978) (hereinafter Protocol II).

[20] Karen Engle, “Calling in the Troops”: The Uneasy Relationship among Women’s Rights, Human Rights, and Humanitarian Intervention, 20 Harv. H.R.J. 189, 189 (2007).

[21] Maurice Keen, The Laws Of War In The Late Middle Ages 121 (OUP 1965).

[22] Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, Aug. 12, 1949, 6 U.S.T. 3516, 75 U.N.T.S. 287 (hereinafter Geneva Convention IV).

[23] Picket, Commentary On The IV Geneva Convention Relative To The Protection Of Civilian Persons In Time Of War 205 (OUP 1958).

[24] Id.

[25] Michael Botne, New Rules For Victims Of Armed Conflict: Commentary On The Two Protocols Additional To The Geneva Conventions Of 1949 75 (Cambridge University Press 1982).

[26] Chris af Jochnik et. al., The Legitimation of Violence: A Critical History of the Laws of War 35 Harv.I.L.J. 49, 58 (1994).

[27] Id. at 50.

[28] Gerald Draper, The Development of International Humanitarian Law 67 (OUP 1988).

[29] V. Spike Peterson, Gendered States: Feminist (Re) Visions of International Relations Theory 49 (Cambridge University Press 1992).

[30] Judith Stiehm, The Protected, the Protector, the Defender, 1 Women and Men’s Wars 367, 369 (1983).

[31] Christine Bell et. al., Peace Agreements or Pieces of Paper? The Impact of UNSC Resolution 1325 on Peace Processes and their Agreements, 59 Int’l & Comp L Q 941, 942 (2010).

[32] Judith Gail Gardam, Non-Combatant Immunity as a Norm of International Humanitarian Law 57 (OUP 1993).

[33] SG Report on Sexual Violence, supra note 5.

[34] U.N. Secretary General, Letter dated Mar. 24, 2005 from the Secretary- General addressed to the President of the General Assembly, U.N. Doc. A/59/710 (Mar. 24, 2005).

[35] S.C. Res. 1820, ¶ 3, (June 19, 2008).

[36] S.C. Res. 1888, ¶ 4, (Sept. 30, 2009).

[37] Id.

[38] S.C. Res. 2098, ¶ 3, (Mar. 28, 2013) (hereinafter 2098 SC Res).

[39] Karen Engle, Feminism and its (Dis)contents: Criminalizing Wartime Rape, 99 Am. J. of Int’l L. 778, 779 (2005).

[40] Janet Halley, Rape in Berlin: Reconsidering the Criminalisation of Rape in the International Law International Armed Conflict, 9 Melb. J. of Int’l L. 1, 37 (2008).

[41] Geneva Convention IV, supra note 22.

[42] Pace Higams, Non-Combatants And The War 15 (OUP 1914).

[43] Hays Parks, Air War and the Law of War, 32 A.F. L. Rev. 34, 35 (1990).

[44] Hague Convention IV, supra note 17.

[45] Geneva Convention I, supra note 18; Geneva Convention (II) for the Amelioration of the Condition of Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces at Sea, Aug. 12 1949, 6 U.S.T. 3217, 75 U.N.T.S. 85 (entered into force 21 Oct. 21, 1950); Geneva Convention (III) relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, Aug. 12, 1949, 6 U.S.T. 3316, 75 U.N.T.S. 135 (entered into force Oct. 21, 1950); Geneva Convention IV, supra note 22; Protocol (I) Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and Relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts, June 8, 1977, 1125 U.N.T.S. 3 (entered into force 7 Dec. 7, 1978) (hereinafter Protocol I); Protocol II, supra note 19.

[46] Protocol I, supra note 45.

[47] Abraham Sofaer, The U.S. Decision not to Ratify Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions on the Protection of War Victims: The Rationale for the United States Decision, 82 AJIL 784, 785 (1988).

[48] Judith Gardam, Non-Combatant Immunity And The Gulf Conflict, 32 Va. J. Ijt’ll. 813, 813 (1992).

[49] Judith Gail Gardam, Proportionality and Force in International Law, 87 Am. J. Int’L L. 391, 406 (1993).

[50] Hans Peter Gasser, Collective Economic Sanctions and International Humanitarian Law: An Enforcement Measure under the United Nations Charter and the Right of Civilians to Immunity: An Unavoidable Clash of Policy Goals?, 56 Zeitschriffto R Auslandiches Offentiches Recht Und Volkerrecht 71, 884 (1996).

[51] Felicity Hill, Nongovernmental Organizations’ Role in the Buildup and Implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325,  28 J. of Women in Culture and Society 1255, 1255 (2003).

[52] UN SCOR, 55th Sess., 4213d mtg. at 2, U.N. Doc. S/Res/1325 (Oct. 31, 2000) (hereinafter 1325 SC Res).

[53] World Conference on Women, Report of the Fourth World Conference on Women: Beijing, 4-15 September 1995, ¶ 144, U.N. Doc. A/CONF.177/20/Rev.1 annex II (Sept. 15, 1996).

[54] 1325 SC Res, supra note 52.

[55] Natalie Hudson, Gender, Human Security and the United Nations: Security Language as a Political Framework for Women 14(Routledge, 2009) (hereinafter Natalie Hudson).

[56] PeaceWomen, (last visited Mar. 30, 2020).

[57] U.N. Secretary General, The Rule of Law and Transitional Justice in Conflict and Post-Conflict Societies, ¶ 4, U.N. Doc. S/2004/616 (Aug. 23, 2004).

[58] U.N. Charter art. 25, ¶ 1.

[59] Id. at art. 24, ¶ 1.

[60] SG Report on Women, supra note 8.

[61] S.C. Res. 2122, ¶ 5, (Oct. 18, 2013) (hereinafter 2122 SC Res); See also S.C. Res. 2106, ¶ 6 (June 24, 2013).

[62] Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women art. 2, opened for signature Mar. 1, 1980, 1249 U.N.T.S. 13 (entered into force Sept. 3, 1981) (hereinafter Women’s Convention).

[63] Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, opened for signature Oct. 10, 1999, 2131 U.N.T.S. 83 (entered into force 22 December 2000).

[64] 2122 SC Res, supra note 61, at Preamble (¶ 5).

[65] Hilary Charlesworth et. al., An Alien’s Review Of Women And Armed Conflict 181 (Paul Babie University of Adelaide Press 2016).

[66] 2122 SC Res, supra note 61, at ¶ 1.

[67] Id. at ¶ 4.

[68] 2122 SC Res, supra note 61, at Preamble (¶ 1).

[69] Dianne Otto, Power and Danger: Feminist Engagement with International Law through the UN Security Council 32 Aust. Fem. L. J. 97, 100 (2010).

[70] 1325 SC Res, supra note 52.

[71] Sandesh Sivakumaran, Sexual Violence against Men in Armed Conflict, 18 Eur. J. of Int’l L. 253, 255 (2007).

[72] Yakin Ertürk (Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, Its Causes and Consequences), Rep. on Political Economy and Violence against Women, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/11/6 (May 18, 2009).

[73] Id.

[74] 2098 SC Res, supra note 71.

[75] S.C. Res. 1889, ¶ 3, (Oct. 5, 2009).

[76] General Recommendation, supra note 7, at 35.

[77] Id.

[78] Women’s Convention, supra note 62.

[79] General Recommendation, supra note 7.

[80] Christine Chinkin et. al., Gender and New Wars, 67(1) J. of Int”l Af. 167, 168 (2013).

[81] General Recommendation, supra note 7, at 35.

[82] Id.

[83] Id.

[84] Ratna Kapur, End-of-Assignment Report 56 (UNMIN, 4 July 2008); See also Nadine Puechguirbal, Discourses on Gender, Patriarchy and Resolution 1325: A Textual Analysis of UN Documents 17 Int’l Peacekeeping 172, 173 (2010).

[85] M Bailliet, Non-State Actors, Soft Law and Protective Regimes: From the Margins 53 (Cambridge University Press, 2012).

[86] Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, Gen. Recom. No. 19, Violence against Women, U.N. Doc. HRI\GEN\1\Rev.7 at 249 (May 12, 2004).

[87] Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, Gen. Recom. No. 28, Core Obligations of States Parties under Article 2 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, U.N Doc. CEDAW/C/GC28 at 3 (Dec. 16, 2010).

[88] Carol Cohn, Women and Wars 45 (Polity Press, 2013); Natalie Hudson, supra note 55.

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