William & Mary Journal of Race, Gender, and Social Justice


The present Article seeks to analyze the notion of gender-based violence, in light of the evolving gender discourse, and identify the problems associated with effectively addressing it in international human rights law. It analyzes the definitions of gender, enshrined in various human rights documents, and suggests using performative theory of gender to form a comprehensive view on gender-based violence. It also critically addresses three aspects of regulating gender-based violence: inclusivity, patriarchy, and normativity. It concludes that, in the long term, the commitment to eradicate gender-based violence should be strengthened by framing it as a binding treaty obligation on the universal human rights level, while in the short term it can continue to be strengthened through a developing body of jurisprudence and authoritative interpretations of standing instruments.