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About the Project


UK Department for International Development Political Settlements Research Programme

Irish Fulbright Scholar Award 2016-2017



Staff Involved

  • Dr Catherine O'Rourke


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.

This research project is the first to account for this pluralism and institutional diversity.

The research identifies key aspects of how different regimes regulate women’s rights in conflict, and how they interact.

The project utilises three country case studies of Democratic Republic of Congo, Colombia and Nepal to reveal the practical implications of the fragmented protection of women’s rights in conflict.

The research offers a dynamic account of how regimes and institutions interact, the extent to which they reinforce each other, and the tensions and gaps in regulation that emerge.

Key Outputs

The main published output for this project is Women’s Rights in Armed Conflict Under International Law (Cambridge University Press, 2020).

A Policy Summary of the book can be accessed through the Political Settlements Research Programme website.

Listen to a presentation on the research and findings: ‘Women’s Rights in Armed Conflict under International Law: A Focus on WPS-CEDAW Synergies’, Monash University Centre for Gender, Peace and Security, June 15, 2020.

Elements of the research are also published in: