News and Events

Book launch of Feminist Judgments in International Law (Bloomsbury, 2019).

(September 2019) The Feminism and International Law Interest Group of the European Society of International Law (ESIL) is pleased to invite you the book launch of Feminist Judgments in International Law (Bloomsbury, 2019).

The launch was held in Athens on the 12th September 2019 as part of the ESIL Annual Conference. Speakers will include the book’s editors, Drs Loveday Hodson and Troy Lavers, as well as several of the authors. The panel discussant was Professor Dianne Otto.

Call for Papers: (Non) reproductive freedom. Experiences, theories, movements – 5-6 December 2019 , Ca’ Foscari University (Venice)

Within the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign promoted by the UN, the journal DEP. Deportate, esuli, profughe/DEP. Deportees, exiles, refugees is organising an international conference on the theme of women’s rights to reproductive freedom.

Control of women’s fertility has ancient origins, but it was only from the beginning of the 20th century, especially in Europe and the United States, that movements advocating birth control were born, the first birth control clinics were set up, new publications aimed at a wider public began to circulate, and dilemmas and ordeals that women were experiencing  spread also through theatrical pieces and literary works. This activism came to a peak with the so-called “La grève des ventres” protest.

At that time, the assertion of the right to reproductive freedom intertwined with the suffrage movement, along with a radical criticism of medical science and its premises.

During the world wars and in the postwar eras, the increasingly repressive laws that prohibited birth control practices gave new impetus to the movements, which gave rise to the struggles and the achievements of the following decades.

The conference will be organised into the following thematic groups:

– women’s and feminists’ reflections on reproductive freedom on a wide time span, in various national contexts and disciplinary areas – philosophical, historical, legal, religious, literary;

– institutions and movements for birth control and sexual and reproductive freedom: activities and protagonists;

– communication strategies adopted by magazines, pamphlets, literary and artistic works;

– affirmation and development of women’s reproductive rights as fundamental human rights;

– current debate on reproductive technologies, surrogate maternity, child marriages, criminalisation of abortion, practices of selective abortion, and birth control policies.

Scientific committee:

Bruna Bianchi (Ca’ Foscari Venezia)

Rosa Caroli (Ca’ Foscari Venezia)

Sara De Vido (Ca’ Foscari Venezia)

Geraldine Ludbrook (Ca’ Foscari Venezia)

Conference languages: Italian/English

31 May 2019: deadline for proposals to be sent to

30 June 2019: notification of acceptance.

30 September 2019: deadline for long abstracts (3,000 characters).

Abstracts can be sent either in Italian or in English.

ESIL FILIG News Update – Coordinating Committee

(14 December 2018) The Feminism and International Law Group (FILIG) of ESIL as pleased to announce their new Coordinating Committee. The members were elected in October 2018. The new members are: Dr Yassin Brunger, Dr Emily Jones, Dr Maria Panezi and Dr Fulvia Staiano.

In September 2018, FILIG ran an event at the ESIL Annual Conference in Manchester. Details below. The workshop was very well attended and we were happy to work with WILNET for the first time. Thanks to all who came and to the moderators who kindly gave up their time to participate.

We are looking forward to holding an event at next year’s annual conference in Athens. Watch this space – further details to follow!

ESIL Interest Group on Feminism in International Law and Women in International Law Network Joint Networking Event

WILNET Interview with Christine Chinkin & Hilary Charlesworth

13th September 2018, 9am – 12:30 ROOM F1, University of Manchester

The ESIL Interest Group on Feminism and International Law and the Women in International Law Network are proud to be hosting a joint networking event prior to this year’s Annual Conference of the European Society of International Law. This interactive workshop will provide a forum to meet fellow scholars and discuss core issues facing feminists within international law, presenting an opportunity for women from different backgrounds and levels in the field to exchange experiences with each other. Table discussions will be centred on questions such as obstacles women face entering the international law field or advancing in their career and how we can inspire new areas of movement in feminist legal futures.

Discussions will be joined by several established academics including Christine Chinkin, Hilary Charlesworth, Louise Arimatsu, Yassin Brunger, Troy Lavers and Loveday Hodson. Due to its likely popularity, a limited number of places will be allocated on a first come first served basis. Please register to attend here

Please note, this event is free and open to all. Participants do not need to be attending the main ESIL conference to attend and therefore do not need to have paid the conference fee. The only requirement to attend is registration.

Event Programme

09.00Introduction by Dr Emily Jones, University of Essex and Co-Coordinator of the European Society of International Law Interest Group on Feminism and International Law (FILIG)
09.15 – 09.35Parallel table discussions with set themes and questions 20 minutes for each table discussion. Participants move round after 20 minutes.  Table 1 Moderators:
Professor Hilary Charlesworth, Australian National University Dr Louise Arimatsu, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
09.40 – 10.00Table 2 Moderators: Professor Christine Chinkin, London School of Economics and Political science (LSE) Dr Yassin Brunger, Queen’s University Belfast
10.05 – 10.25Table 3 Moderators: Dr Troy Lavers, University of Leicester and FILIG Co-coordinator Dr Loveday Hodson, University of Leicester and FILIG Co-coordinator
10.30Coffee break
11.00Welcome back and Intro to afternoon session by Işıl Aral, University of Manchester, WILNET
11.10 – 30Moderators present table discussions (10 mins each)
11.40Plenary discussion led by Sara De Vido, Ca’ Foscari University, Venice, WILNET
12.10Summary of main conclusions. Discussion led by Petra Larsen, University of Manchester, WILNET and Elizabeth O’Loughlin, City Law School, WILNET
12.30Concluding remarks by Işıl Aral

UPDATE: The Feminism and International Law Interest Group of the European Society of International Law Event on the theme of: Whose Global Public Goods, Global Commons and Fundamental Values?

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(19 May 2017) Full Programme here: Programme, Feminism Interest Group of ESIL, IG event, Whose Global Public Goods, Global Commons and Fundamental Values, Naples 2017 University of Naples Federico II, Corso Umberto I, 40, Naples, Italy 6th September 2017, 2-5pm Directions here

Call for Papers for Interest Group Event to be held in Naples on 6th September 2017

(March 31, 2017) The Feminism and International Law Interest Group of the European Society of International Law invite paper around the theme of: Whose Global Public Goods, Global Commons and Fundamental Values?

Feminist approaches to international law have long worked to challenge the “global” nature of international law through various means. One way this area of scholarship has done this has been to show how international law in many ways ignores and silences women’s experiences. At a pragmatic level, access to global public goods has been a key issue with access to things like water, food and health often being gendered and racialised with women and other minorities gaining unequal access. International law has therefore proven to be a discursive space which broadly promotes itself as liberal, yet this has also worked to disguise the limitations of international law, with international law often ignoring the pleas of people whom it, at the same time, promotes itself as helping.

There is no denying that women and their needs have been given more recognition and attention in international law over the past two decades, through the recognition of women’s rights for example. However, feminist work has also noted the ways in which the promotion of women’s rights as a fundamental value has been appropriated and used as a tool for power. One example of this is the way “women’s rights” were used by many Western States to justify the war in Afghanistan (the war being called for, in part, in order to “save” Afghan women). International law’s feminist focus can be seen as limited in that it mostly focuses on liberal feminist considerations, thereby silencing the diversity of voices within feminist and gender scholarship as well as ensuring that international law itself focuses primarily on certain women.

The same critique of international law’s limited, liberal focus, it is noted, applies to the status of queer people and activists in international law. Queer scholarship, such as Puar’s work on homonationalism, has shown how “the global” has been willing to promote LGBT rights as a fundamental global value whilst, in turn, working to use this global value as a tool for power. One example of this can be seen through the pinkwashing phenomenon, whereby States such as Israel promote themselves as global protectors and promotors of LGBT rights (and thereby as progressive liberal States), thus using this to hide and conceal other human rights abuses. With the emergence of a homonormative standard for the liberal assessment of legitimate nationhood or communitarian projects, in the context of LBGT rights, this often being done through the promotion of rights such as marriage, the more radical elements of queer thought, which challenge these structures as being founded on racist and heteronormative functions, are suppressed. Further, by aiming to impose the Western, liberal LGBT rights framework globally, as a fundamental value, many LGBT activists work to ignore the contexts in which queer people live in and what these people themselves may see as liberation (which may not, for example, be the possibility to marry, for example).

Further to this, the focus of international law on promoting civil and political rights over economic, social and cultural i.e. the rights which ensure equal access to global public goods such as water, has worked in many ways to silence women’s needs through promoting a limited, liberal account of freedom. With global goods such as water now being largely commodified across many parts of the world, there have been many calls in recent years for these public goods to belong, instead, to the commons. Liberalism, as one of international law’s fundamental values, has become neoliberalism, as can be shown in the IMF’s reductive accounts of freedom for women and LGBT people as access to the market alone (without account to the fact, for example, that having a low paid job is not necessarily freedom, especially in a world where things like water are commodified and may thus be inaccessible for those on low wages).

This Interest Group event will challenge these limited notions of what queer and feminist subject’s needs, working to challenge the very structures of international law itself and the values it pertains to promote. Topics may include (though need not be exclusive to):

  • Women’s access to and feminist perspectives on global public goods such as water, food, free trade and public health.
  • Feminist and  queer  critiques  of  international  law’s  ‘fundamental  values’  such  as  liberalism  and
  • Feminist perspectives on the global commons such as: the law of the seas, the law of outer space and immaterial cultural heritage (for example).
  • Feminist perspectives   on   fundamental   values   such   as:   human   rights,   peace,   protection of the environment, self-determination and

This panel event thereby aims to situate in discussion, critical feminist perspectives on international law, intersectional and/or postcolonial and decolonising feminist perspectives as well as queer perspectives and is open to abstract submissions on these themes accordingly. We invite presenters who wish to showcase their work using non-traditional formats, such as through art, photography and performance, to apply.

Abstracts of no more than 300 words along with an up to date CV should be sent to by no later than Friday 28th April 2017.

The Interest Group is unable to provide funding for travel to and attendance at the conference. As this is an Interest Group event, there will be no fee to attend or speak. However, we also cannot offer a speaker’s discount to the main ESIL conference taking place 7-9th September. Please see the ESIL website for information on finances and for other relevant information about the conference.

Selection Committee: Loveday Hodson, Troy Lavers, Emily Jones and Bérénice K. Schramm

December 21, 2016 ESIL Conference 2017 – Naples

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The  Feminism and International Law Interest Group are seeking papers for an Agora proposal for the ESIL Annual Conference to be held the 7th-9th September in Naples. The theme of our Agora, in line the with the theme of the larger conference, is;

Whose Global Public Goods, Global Commons and Fundamental Values?

Please see the attached documents below for more information. Papers are welcome in either French or English. ABSTRACT DEADLINE: 20th January 2017

CFP in English

Pour l’appel en français

For any queries, please contact Emily Jones at :