Background Summary: Gender in International Judicial Systems

Background Summary: Gender in International Judicial Systems

This article is not written as a comprehensive summary of gender and international law but a short overview of recent developments linked to the international law, the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC). The article discusses cases related to Côte d'Ivoire, Kenya, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), among others.

Today, ten years after the creation of the Rome Treaty-governed International Criminal Court (ICC), we continue to witness significant developments in the international prosecution of gender-based crimes, in domestic courts as well as in ad hoc and hybrid tribunals. However, access to justice remains elusive for women in many conflict situations, with gender crimes remaining particularly vulnerable to both omission from filings and ultimate failure to reach trial phase - a finding that was articulated in December, with the release of the ICC's 2011 Gender Report Card.

The PeaceWomen Project looks to the appointment of Ms. Fatou Bensouda, the first female chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, as an opportunity for the ICC to further the women, peace and security agenda through better practices for including survivors of gender crimes and preserving their testimonies and related evidence.

Please see here for an expanded explanation of the developments and gaps in international justice for crimes commited against humaninty, incluidng rape.

Suggested Resources:

  • Rape and sexual violence - Human Rights Law and standards in the International Criminal Court, Amnesty International

Grace Jennings-Edquist (PeaceWomen intern)