Gender Perspectives on IHL
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Armed conflict affects men, women, girls and boys in fundamentally different ways, often exacerbating pre-existing gender inequalities in society. In this context, how well does international humanitarian law (IHL) account for these differences in the protection of vulnerable populations in situations of conflict? Critically analyzing IHL from a gender perspective provides greater insight into many of the key humanitarian challenges in armed conflict, ranging from protecting refugees and displaced persons, to preventing sexual and gender-based violence, and limiting the harmful effects of weapons. It also highlights how gendered deficiencies during conflict affect peace, justice and long-term recovery.
In conversations with key experts and practitioners, this podcast will consider how the practical implementation and enforcement of IHL affects men, women, girls and boys differently. The podcast will examine the gendered nature of protections under IHL. It will also assess what progress has been made in addressing the gendered nature of international law - including the recognition of rape and sexual violence as international crimes. Finally, it will consider how to address disparities in the law and in its implementation with regard to gender and humanitarian protection.
This podcast will address the following questions:
- Why is a gendered perspective on IHL important? How does it influence the protection of civilians and our understanding of vulnerable groups?
- What are the practical implications of highlighting gendered differences in humanitarian programming?
- What progress has been made in integrating a gender perspective into international law and humanitarian protection? What shortcomings exist, and what remains to be done?
Cecilia Tengroth and Kristina Lindvall, eds., IHL and Gender – Swedish Experiences (Stockholm: Sweden: Swedish Red Cross and Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, 2015), http://www.redcross.se/ihl-and-gender.
Elin Lilijenbladh and Tatiana Zepeda, "IHL and Gender - Lessons Learned From a Field Study in Uganda" (Swedish Red Cross, March 2015), http://www.redcross.se/ihl-and-gender.
Helen Durham and Katie O’Byrne, “The dialogue of difference: gender perspectives on international humanitarian law,” International Review of the Red Cross, Volume 92 Number 877, March 2010, https://www.icrc.org/eng/assets/files/other/irrc-877-durham-obyrne.pdf
Jessica Cadesky, “Examining Violence Against Health Care From A Gender Perspective,” Study On Access To Health Care During Armed Conflict And Other Emergencies (Swedish Red Cross, March 2015), http://www.redcross.se/PageFiles/8261/Cadesky,%20Examining%20violence%20against%20health%20care%20from%20a%20gender%20perspective.pdf.
Sally Longworth and Dr Ola Engdahl, “Getting Perspective: Incorporating a Gender Perspective in Military Operations and the Impact on International Humanitarian Law,” ILC Report no. 2, (2014), http://www.redcross.se/PageFiles/8261/Longworth%20and%20Engdahl,%20Getting%20Perspective.pdf.
Extended Interviews - Gender Perspectives on IHL
Extended Segment 1: Helen Durham, Director for International Law and Policy, ICRC, and Fionnuala Ni Aolain, Professor of Law, Transitional Justice Institute, Ulster University
Extended Segment 2: Cpt. Anna Björsson, Gender Advisor to the Chief of Operations at the Swedish Armed; Charlotte Isaksson, SACEUR and Allied Command Operations (NATO) Gender Advisor; and Cecilia Tengroth, Senior Legal Adviser, Swedish Red Cross
Extended Segment 3: Arwa Mhanna, Humanitarian Consultant; Rebecca Eapen, Senior Gender Equality Adviser Division of International Protection, UNHCR; and Sebastián Molano, Gender and Development Consultant