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Legal Pluralism and Women's Rights after Conflict: The Role of CEDAW

Swenson, G. & Campbell, M. K. (2016). Legal Pluralism and Women's Rights after Conflict: The Role of CEDAW. Columbia Human Rights Law Review, 48(1), pp. 112-146.


Protecting and promoting women’s rights is an immense challenge after conflict, especially when the capacity of the state’s legal system is limited and non - state justice systems handle most disputes. However, legal pluralism’s implications for gender equality remain under-theorized, as is CEDAW’s potential to improve women’s rights in these settings. This Article offers a theoretical framework to help understand the varying relationships between state and non-state justice. It also proposes strategies for interacting with different types of legal pluralisms that will allow the CEDAW Committee to more effectively promote gender equality in legally pluralistic, post-conflict states, as is illuminated in case studies from Afghanistan and Timor-Leste.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: Re-used with permission from Columbia Human Rights Law Review.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
K Law
Departments: School of Policy & Global Affairs > International Politics
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