A feminist analysis of certain aspects of international humanitarian law
Host item entries:
Australian year book of international law, Vol. 12, no 1, 1989, p. 265-278
The aim of this paper is to expose some of the underlying assumptions on which the law is based. Feminists have referred to this approach as asking "the woman question". "In law, asking the woman question means examining how the law fails to take into account the experiences and values that seem more typical of women than of men, for whatever reason, or how existing legal standards and concepts might disadvantage women". The following discussion does not purport to be more than a beginning of the task of dismantling the myth of gender neutrality of the law of armed conflict. First, recent developments in the principles of international humanitarian law, flowing from the recognition of the legal right of peoples to self-determination, are used to demonstrate the gendered nature of the rules and, secondly, the role of the military in the development of humanitarian law generally is briefly considered.
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