International Law, COVID-19 and Feminist Engagement with the United Nations Security Council: The End of the Affair?

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Abstract

The gendered implications of COVID-19, in particular in terms of gender-based violence and the gendered division of care work, have secured some prominence, and ignited discussion about prospects for a 'feminist recovery'. In international law terms, feminist calls for a response to the pandemic have privileged the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), conditioned-I argue-by two decades of the pursuit of the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda through the UNSC. The deficiencies of the UNSC response, as characterised by the Resolution 2532 adopted to address the pandemic, manifest yet again the identified deficiencies of the WPS agenda at the UNSC, namely fragmentation, securitisation, efficacy and legitimacy. What Resolution 2532 does bring, however, is new clarity about the underlying reasons for the repeated and enduring nature of these deficiencies at the UNSC. Specifically, the COVID-19 'crisis' is powerful in exposing the deficiencies of the crisis framework in which the UNSC operates. My reflections draw on insights from Hilary Charlesworth's seminal contribution 'International Law: A Discipline of Crisis' to argue that, instead of conceding the 'crisis' framework to the pandemic by prioritising the UNSC, a 'feminist recovery' must instead follow Charlesworth's exhortation to refocus on an international law of the everyday. [Abstract copyright: © The Author(s) 2020.]
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
JournalFeminist Legal Studies
Volume28
Issue number3
Early online date31 Oct 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 31 Oct 2020

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Crisis
  • International Law
  • United Nations Security Council

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