Violence against women's health in international law

By Sara De Vido

Violence against women's health in international law

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-2497-5
  • Pages: 272
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £85.00
  • Published Date: June 2020
  • BIC Category: Law, LAW / Health, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Women's Studies, LAW / International, Gender & The Law, Women's Health, Law / International law
  • Series: Melland Schill Studies in International Law


Violence against women is characterised by its universality, the multiplicity of its forms, and the intersectionality of diverse kinds of discrimination against women. Great emphasis in legal analysis has been placed on sex-based discrimination; however, in investigations of violence, one aspect has been overlooked: violence may severely affect women's health and access to reproductive health, and State health policies might be a cause of violence against women.

Exploring the relationship between violence against women and women's rights to health and reproductive health, Sara De Vido theorises the new concept of violence against women's health in international law using the Hippocratic paradigm, enriching human rights-based approaches to women's autonomy and reflecting on the pervasiveness of patterns of discrimination.

At the core of the book are two dimensions of violence: horizontal 'inter-personal', and vertical 'state policies'. Investigating these dimensions through decisions made by domestic, regional and international judicial or quasi-judicial bodies, De Vido reconceptualises States' obligations and eventually asks whether international law itself is the ultimate cause of violence against women's health.


'Impressive and invaluable. By introducing an innovative idea of "violence against women's health", this book reconceptualises the States' obligations in preventing and combating violence against women. This is sure to become the landmark work on the topic.'
Shuichi Furuya, Professor of International Law, Waseda University, Tokyo and Member of the UN Human Rights Committee

'Innovatively interrogating the concept of violence against women in international law, De Vido explores its neglected link with women's right to health, particularly reproductive health, reconceptualising state responsibility to emphasise obligations of result, women's autonomy and the justiciability of violations. The outcome is a compelling explication of the new concept of violence against women's health.'
Dianne Otto, Chair in Human Rights Law and Director of the Institute for International Law and the Humanities, Melbourne Law School


Introduction: The narrative
1 The Anamnesis: 'Case history' on violence against women and women's rights to health and to reproductive health
2 The Diagnosis: A conceptualisation of VAWH
3 The Treatment: A re-conceptualisation of States' obligations in countering VAWH
4 The Prognosis: Final conclusions
Table of treaties
Table of cases


Sara De Vido is Associate Professor of International Law at Ca' Foscari University of Venice, Italy, and affiliate to the Manchester International Law Centre

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