1er congrès de la Chaire Internationale Mukwege

Comment donner un avenir aux femmes et aux enfants victimes de violences sexuelles dans les conflits ?


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M. McKay

Putting patriarchy on Feminist legal theory international criminal trial : in law

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This paper explores the integration of feminist legal theory and international criminal law (ICL) to more effectively and holistically address impunity for sexual violence in conflict and transitioning societies. ICL has the ability to produce positive change through enhanced accountability frameworks, but without significant feminist overhaul to its system, impunity for sexual violence will never end, for it fails to address the underlying cause of sexual violence: the patriarchy. Individuals committing conflict-related sexual violence are abusing an inherently masculine power that has thus far been unaddressed in criminal systems. To make visible the continuum of gender-based harms arising from conflict, the author explores including the exploitation and furtherance of the patriarchy as an aggravating factor during sentencing processes in international criminal trials.

The inclusion of considerations relating to the patriarchy can assist societies transitioning from conflict, by explicitly naming one factor that perpetuates violence. Further, naming the factor underlying this violence can make more visible the way in which it predated the conflict and persists in times of peace. Explicit statements against the patriarchy can assist in guaranteeing victims are better protected from recurrence, as societies can rebuild with greater awareness of the impact of the patriarchy. Through judgments that include more comprehensive awareness of the gendered harms ingrained throughout global societies, and punishing actors who perpetuate such harms through conflict related sexual violence, international criminal law can serve as an example in the feminist prosecution of sexual violence with the view of actually ending impunity.

Pour citer cet article

M. McKay, «Putting patriarchy on Feminist legal theory international criminal trial : in law», 1er congrès de la Chaire Internationale Mukwege [En ligne], Actes du colloque, URL : https://popups.uliege.be/chairemukwege/index.php?id=282.