Over the last two decades, there has been huge momentum in efforts to recognize women’s experience of war, and strengthen the international law and policy responses that are triggered. These responses include a decade of Security Council resolutions related to women and armed conflict, feminist jurisprudence in the Ad Hoc tribunals, a transnational effort to support and augment the gender provisions of the ICC, a massive push to expand the number of women in truth commission and reparation processes, peace processes and the mainstreaming of gender in donor policies. Many have celebrated these efforts as a welcome corrective to the patriarchal arc of the international legal and policy landscape. In contrast, I suggest that more caution is warranted. This paper looks at how, too often, ICF has become a companion project to agendas of counter terrorism, intervention and the displacement of distributive concerns – a companion project with mutually reinforcing dynamics.
Vasuki Nesiah is Associate Professor of Practice at NYU, Gallatin. Currently her main areas of research include the law and politics of international human rights and humanitarianism, with a particular focus on transitional justice. She is working on two principle projects at present – A genealogy of transitional justice, and a co-edited volume on legacies of the Bandung conference on critical traditions in international law. Her past publications have engaged with different dimensions of public international law, colonialism and international law, international feminisms and the politics of memory and constitutionalism in Sri Lanka. She teaches human rights, law and social theory and international legal studies at NYU.