Women's Rights and the Periphery: CEDAW's Optional Protocol
European Journal of International Law, 2014, Forthcoming
Posted: 13 Sep 2013
Date Written: September 2013
This paper places the UN Women’s Committee at its centre in order to consider the normative implications of having a space within the realm of international law that is headed by women decision-makers, whose remit is specifically gendered and whose task is to uphold the rights of women. It suggests that the Committee’s importance has largely been overlooked, which is a considerable oversight. The Committee is in fact uniquely positioned to make a contribution to the transformation of human rights norms, occupying, as it arguably does, positions simultaneously at the centre and at the periphery of international law. In particular, this paper examines the jurisprudence that has emerged under the individual complaints procedure of the Optional Protocol to CEDAW and questions how far the Committee has been able to develop 'women's rights' in recent years into a body of law that departs from the normative and structural limitations of international human rights laws.
Keywords: women’s rights, international law, CEDAW, United Nations
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