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Issues in Women’s International Human Rights and International Violence Against Women

International violence against women happens in different contexts and cultures world-wide, and second; that the international study of these problems reveals the complicity and systematic toleration of violence against women by governments all over the world. International collaboration on addressing violence against women is crucial in building effective, wide-ranging responses that can strengthen women′s rights wherever they may live. From girls seeking educational opportunities from the recently overthrown Taliban, to female infants snuffed out pre-natally, to girls whose genitals are mutilated, to women forced into survival sex that kills them, women and girls are subject globally to an intolerable amount of debilitating violence. The goal of this course is to increase awareness of these issues, and to formulate collaborative thinking on solutions. How do we answer claims that acts that constitute violence against women have cultural significance and sanction in other societies? How is the international women′s rights movement different from the global human rights movement? What role does international law play in securing rights for women across borders? Does the current construct of international law do enough for women′s rights internationally? How can groups work better transitionally, transculturally, to eliminate violence against women? Representative issues of some of the most pressing and vivid examples of violence against women will be discussed. After reviewing the issues presented and choosing one, or one not listed here prepare a short report describing the issue and recommendations for addressing the problem.

Professor Vanessa von Struensee, JD, MPH
Harvard University

Click here for Syllabus