This chapter provides a genealogy, since 1990, of the acceptance by international human rights bodies that gendered violence is a human rights violation, before mapping the parallel genealogy of the emergent conservative network of international actors hostile to women’s equality and ‘gender ideology’, and their recent efforts to promote ‘traditional values’ and ‘traditional families’ as the foundation of human rights law. This mapping reveals that the achievements since 1990 are now looking frighteningly precarious. The chapter concludes that the immediate future looks bleak for addressing gendered violence through the state-based UN human rights mechanisms, while acknowledging the many efforts to counter these neo-patriarchal, homophobic and transphobic developments.
The 1990s witnessed a surge of feminist human rights scholarship and activism in international law which has shaped jurisprudential and institutional developments, yet gender issues and human rights still remain a challenging and evolving field of study. In this collection, Professor Otto brings together seminal works which are united in their aim of questioning the existing gendered hierarchies of power and inequality and the purportedly natural foundations that have justified oppressive gender stereotypes. Included works cover, among others, the history and early developments of women’s rights, structural critiques of international human rights law, recognizing new human rights, linking women’s economic inequality and human rights and thinking beyond the duality of gender.