Violence against Women as Sex Discrimination: Evaluating the Policy and Practice of the UN Human Rights Treaty Bodies

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Edwards, Alice

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The Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice


Violence against women is one of the greatest threats to women‟s equality and equal enjoyment of human rights. Yet, there is no single treaty provision explicitly prohibiting violence against women within any of the eight „core‟ international human rights treaties, nor a binding international treaty specifically on the issue. In the work of the UN human rights treaty bodies, one of their approaches to recognising violence against women has been to subsume it within the guarantees to equality and non-discrimination on the basis of sex. This article examines the meanings given to these concepts and inquires into whether this approach to what is an obvious gender gap in the international human rights framework is effective.



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