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Dear Amy,

I am an undergraduate student in the Political Science Department at the University of Victoria, Canada. I'm working on a research paper that will examine the relationship between the international human rights movement and the international women's rights movement. I am contacting you to ask your views on the recent rape convictions of Bosnian Serb soldiers at the UN War Crimes Tribunal and the recognition in the verdict of rape in war as a crime against humanity. What affect do you think this verdict will have on the international women's rights movement? Any feedback you have to offer would be appreciated.

Thank you,


Dear Randall,

The reason that many feminists have been hesitant about embracing the human rights movement in place of the feminist movement is that human rights groups still need to be responsive/inclusive of feminism. Gender and gender based crimes haven't always been prioritized within human rights groups; therefore, feminists have filled this gap. The recent verdict that rape is a crime against humanity and is a war crime is an example of progress. It is an attempt to value crimes against women--and an attempt to put an end to this injustice. So yes I think that this is a step in the right direction - especially given how many women who have been raped in previous wars, all of which went undetected/prioritized.

I hope that helps.



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