A Rule of Law for Women? Women, Law, and Development in Colombia

58 Pages Posted: 6 May 2008 Last revised: 13 Dec 2013

See all articles by Alexis Arthur

Alexis Arthur

Inter-American Dialogue; Cornell University

Date Written: 2008


This honours paper was supervised by Professor Hilary Charlesworth. This article examines the concept of the rule of law as a development mechanism and its application to women in developing and post-conflict situations. It identifies three main approaches to the rule of law in the development context, the market-centred approach, the human rights-based approach, and the hybrid approach. What these approaches share is an emphasis on institutional reform, which has proved ineffective in protecting the rights of women and advancing their interests. This is particularly the case in conflict and post-conflict areas as illustrated by the case study of Colombia. The paper concludes by examining some alternatives to the formalist understanding of the rule of law and argues that this notion should be extended to incorporate the use of legal and non-legal services, incorporate civil society, and create sustainable legal cultures.

Keywords: Rule of law, development, women, gender, Colombia

Suggested Citation

Arthur, Alexis, A Rule of Law for Women? Women, Law, and Development in Colombia (2008). ANU College of Law Research Paper No. 08-05, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1129083 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1129083

Alexis Arthur (Contact Author)

Inter-American Dialogue ( email )

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Cornell University ( email )

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