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Laws and norms that focus on women’s lives in conflict have proliferated across the regimes of international humanitarian law, international criminal law, international human rights law and the United Nations Security Council. While separate institutions, with differing powers of monitoring and enforcement, implement these laws and norms, the activities of regimes overlap. Drawing on research from her new book, Women’s Rights in Armed Conflict under International Law (Cambridge University Press, 2020), the seminar addresses challenges posed by legal fragmentation and the relatively weak legal status of many women’s rights norms in conflict. The seminar will focus on the potential for synergies between CEDAW and WPS to enhance the protection of women’s rights in conflict.

Dr Catherine O’Rourke is Director of the Transitional Justice Institute at Ulster University in Northern Ireland. She was commissioned by UN Women (with Aisling Swaine) to author the Guidebook on CEDAW general recommendation no. 30 and the UN Security Council resolutions on women, peace and security (2015), the leading guidance for UN member states and civil society on achieving synergies between CEDAW and the Security Council to advance women’s rights in conflict.

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