United States, North America
Lisa Shannon


Women’s security cannot be a discretionary matter for individual states, with women’s advocacy groups forced to engage in fight after fight for construction of piecemeal legal protections. This approach leaves massive gaps, and women’s security dangerously open to arguments of cultural relativism. If one believes in international law and the sanctity of human rights, then there is no if question regarding a legally binding instrument on violence against women. Recommendations and suggestions are nowhere near sufficient. It is time to demand an unequivocal legal boundary, beyond which a state has abandoned the community of nations. In other words, a hard and fast No. Such a legal framework is an essential duty of the community of nations. Women’s security is not an optional extra, but a fundamental prerequisite to progress.

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