Pragmatism, International Law and Women's Bodies

Ustinia Dolgopol

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3 Citations (Scopus)


This paper was delivered on ANZAC day, a national day of remembrance for the military victims of war.* The contrast between the subject of the paper, the horrors inflicted on women during war, and the glorification of participation in warfare, could not have been more stark. The ANZAC celebration was a forceful and poignant reminder of the work that remains to be done in changing attitudes and priorities. The fact that male deaths and bravery in war are still the subject of major national celebrations while the impact of war on women continues to be ignored by national governments underlies the thesis of this paper. Women of all races continue to be raped,brutalised and tortured during warfare. Yet the international community remains unwilling to seek out the perpetrators of violence against women and punish them. The International Force of Reconciliation has been unwilling to define its mandate in such a way as to assist in the capture of those indicted for the commission of war crimes in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Although the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia is determined to carry out its functions, the countries and diplomats engaged in the peace negotiations did not give the war crimes trials a high priority and many of them viewed the continuation of such trials as a stumbling block to the cessation of the war. Further, no one has given serious consideration to the right of the women in Bosnia,Rwanda, Somalia or elsewhere to receive compensation for the harms they have suffered and to assist them in the process of physical and psychological recovery
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-242
Number of pages16
JournalAustralian Feminist Studies
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1996


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