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Violence against women in armed conflict

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Chapter Summary

Violence against women in conflict situations should be understood as part of a continuum of violence experienced by women and girls, in times of relative peace, through conflict into post-conflict situations, and as taking place within a broader context of disadvantage and discrimination. During armed conflicts, existing inequalities and patterns of discrimination tend to be exacerbated. The states capacity to exercise due diligence to prevent, investigate, and punish violence against women, and to provide remedies and assistance, is then weak. International humanitarian law contains many provisions that supplement human rights law to protect women from violence during armed conflict. Violence against women is particularly prevalent in post-conflict situations, due to widespread trauma, disruption of community and family networks, and the disarray of pre-war security institutions. In avoiding conflict and in building peace after conflict, building a democratic and participatory security sector is crucial.

Keywords: armed conflicts; due diligence; human rights law; International humanitarian law; violence against women



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