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Bethany DONITHORN
on Mon, September 17, 2012 at 03.29 pm
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The Rule of Law in Conflict Zones: A means to handle Gender-Based Violence - Jayakumar

*Submitted and accepted under the Inequalities Consultation Call for Proposals for Background Papers, Sept 2012*

by Kirthi Jayakumar, Lawyer (International Law and Human Rights), Chennai, India

September 2012

Abstract: Wars have destroyed local infrastructure, displaced masses and left them strung in the iron fist of poverty. In every war, alongside cataclysmic statistical tolls of civilian deaths, a major hurdle is the large-scale perpetration of violence against women, making them arguably the worst victims of conflict. When women are subjected to violence, the family is broken, and social functioning comes to a grinding halt. Women in a conflict-ridden society remain in the throes of a vicious cycle of political and criminal violence. With men taking to armed forefronts, women find themselves being made the sole breadwinner of their families. Coupled with the economic considerations, there is always the looming threat of violence. Gender-based violence is among the greatest incidences on any warfront. The lack of machinery to enforce the women’s rights during conflict proves that the culture of impunity thrives owing to the lack of legal attention to the issues. A campaign for the strengthening of the Rule of Law in such situations could help tackle the issue of Gender-Based Violence. Specifically targeted helps address specific issues. This paper examines the Rule of Law and how useful it can be when implemented in conflict-ridden societies to handle Gender-based Violence.

About the Author: Kirthi Jayakumar is a lawyer based out of Chennai, India. She has worked with several grass root organizations internationally, and as a UN Volunteer, on international law and human rights in Afghanistan, the Middle East and DR Congo with a specific focus on Women's Rights and Gender-based issues. Over the past two years, Kirthi has been working with CAAGLOP, DeltaWomen, Women in War Zones, as a Commissioning Editor with e-IR, and as a Research Associate with Open Briefing as an Intelligence Analyst - these are all voluntary positions. She also runs an International Law Journal and Consultancy called A38.

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