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Part I Introduction, Ch.5 Feminist Perspectives on the Law on the Use of Force

Gina Heathcote

From: The Oxford Handbook of the Use of Force in International Law

Edited By: Marc Weller

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 11 December 2023

Disarmament — Armed conflict, international — Armed conflict, non-international — UN Charter — Rape and sexual violence

This chapter examines the use of force from a feminist perspective and its prohibition in Article 2(4) of the UN Charter. Using structural bias feminism, it demonstrates how the gendering of international legal categories contributes to the harm and discrimination experienced by women worldwide. The chapter cites UN Security Council action in Libya in 2011 as an example of the normative and organizational exclusion of women and the justification of the use of force. It discusses the relationship between race and gender privilege in international law and argues that the Council’s resolutions on women, peace, and security, support, and legitimate use of force undermine feminist peace activism. It proposes a transformative approach to the foundations of international law that articulates the prohibition on the use of force as a useful first step for imagining the potential of humanity rather than justifying further force, further violence, or further destruction.

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