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International courts and other actors are increasingly taking into account pre-existing social structures and inequalities when addressing and redressing human rights violations, in particular discrimination against specific groups. To date, however, academic legal research has paid little attention to this gentle turn in international human rights law and practice to address structural discrimination. In order to address this gap, this study analyses whether and to what extent international and regional human rights frameworks foresee positive obligations for State parties to address structural discrimination, and, more precisely, gender hierarchies and stereotypes as root causes of gender-based violence.
In order to answer this question, the book analyses whether or not international human rights law requires pursuing a root-cause-sensitive and transformative approach to structural discrimination against women in general and to the prevention, protection and reparation of violence against women in particular; to what extent international courts and (quasi)judicial bodies address State responsibility for the systemic occurrence of violence against women and its underlying root causes; whether or not international courts and monitoring bodies have suitable tools for addressing structural discrimination within the society of a contracting party; and the limits to a transformative approach.