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Eliminating Violence against Women in the Democratic Republic of the Congo: A new model for further Implementation of United Nations Human Rights Standards

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posted on 14.07.2020, 13:08 by Jean-Claude Kalume Misenga
There is an implementation gap between the obligation to eliminate violence against women (VAW) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the State’s action that has been partly attributed to the combined effects of the country’s unwillingness and lack of capacity to live up to its commitment to end VAW. In reality, these two problems are also exacerbated by the fact that United Nations (UN) Human Rights bodies mandated with promoting and protecting women’s right to be free from violence suffer from structural weaknesses that limit their ability to influence the domestic practices of States, such as the DRC. Adopting a sociolegal approach, this thesis develops an original five-step “Integrated and Multi-stakeholder Model of Human Rights Change”. Through this new model I analyse how a broad array of international and domestic stakeholders, including UN Human Rights bodies, can use the persuasive power of “moral consciousness-raising”, naming and shaming, dialogue and argumentation and the transformative power of capacity building to address, in an integrated, comprehensive and durable manner, implementation gaps that are likely to result from the DRC’s unwillingness and lack of capacity to implement its obligation to eliminate VAW. While this thesis confirms the potential of the Integrated and Multi-stakeholder Model of Human Rights Change, it also reveals that using this model to end VAW in the DRC is a long-term and expensive undertaking whose magnitude may oftentimes exceed the mandate of, capacity of and/or resources available to UN Human Rights bodies.



Loveday Hodson; Troy Lavers

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School of Law

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University of Leicester

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