Open access

The context in which femicide often occurs, is set out in Chapter 2, recognizing that wartime settings of rape and sexual violence have contributed to the current peacetime occurrences of femicide in some States. Military leaders' failure to halt rape or even encouragement to rape women in wartime, has effects beyond that period. This connection in terms of the prevalence of sexual violence sheds light on state responsibility through inaction for femicide. This aspect is revisited in Chapter 10 to discuss States' role in contributing to a situation where women and girls are attacked with impunity. Another first step for conceptualizing femicide is the underlying understanding, which is very pronounced in war, that sexual violence violates women and girls' or their male protectors' honor. As such, international humanitarian law provides the basis for prohibiting crimes of rape and sexual violence under international law.