The Law and Politics of Combating Violence Against Women

Course Level: 
Course Open to: 
Students on-site
Remote students
Academic Year: 
US Credits: 
ECTS Credits: 
Course Code: 
Course Description: 

Social Justice and Human Rights Specialization for DPP

Gender based violence is one of the main social forces producing and reproducing gender inequality. Brought to international and national policy agendas by feminist movements it has lately become a core policy issue discussed not just in the framework of gender equality but related to policies on human rights, crime prevention, child protection, health, development, cross border migration and trafficking and conflict and post conflict intervention. This course aims to look at the law and the politics of gender based violence through understanding the main challenges of framing it as a policy and international human rights issue. The course will aim to understand contestation of the policy meanings of gender based violence, alternative approaches to it and examine currently existing international conventions, case law and standards set by different international human rights bodies and state responses. The course will pay particular attention to some specific forms of gender based violence such as domestic violence, femicide, rape, traditional forms of violence, trafficking, sexual harassment, cyber violence and violence in conflict and post conflict situations.

Learning Outcomes: 

The course will sensitize students interested in issues and debates related to different forms of violence against women pertinent to most developed and new democracies and societies in transformation. Due to the nature of the topic, the course will invite students to develop their skills of critical thinking by understanding major political, legal and policy debates and actors that shape considerations on combating violence against women via international human rights law and domestic policies. The teaching method will ensure that students have to regularly synthesize different pieces of knowledge including theoretical, policy and legal texts, to critically evaluate the differences and overlaps of arguments, to do targeted small inquiries for relevant policy cases, to summarize and present arguments to their colleagues, to analyse case law from different international human rights protection bodies and to develop their academic writing skills. 


The final grade is based on class-participation including group work on specific readings [25%], four short weekly assignments [25%] and a final seminar paper [50%].