the State Department, together with the Pentagon, the CIA
and other security and intelligence organs of the US government, as well as the Department of
Commerce and the Department of the Treasury. To grasp its importance, it is necessary to
distinguish it from the eccentric and unpredictable character of Donald Trump. But it is also
necessary to recognise that it would take a character like Trump to bring about such a break from
the history and tradition of USforeignpolicy.
From a strictly academic perspective, the new strategy document looks
The book explores the relationship between violence against women on one hand,
and the rights to health and reproductive health on the other. It argues that
violation of the right to health is a consequence of violence, and that (state)
health policies might be a cause of – or create the conditions for – violence
against women. It significantly contributes to feminist and international human
rights legal scholarship by conceptualising a new ground-breaking idea, violence
against women’s health (VAWH), using the Hippocratic paradigm as the backbone of
the analysis. The two dimensions of violence at the core of the book – the
horizontal, ‘interpersonal’ dimension and the vertical ‘state policies’
dimension – are investigated through around 70 decisions of domestic, regional
and international judicial or quasi-judicial bodies (the anamnesis). The concept
of VAWH, drawn from the anamnesis, enriches the traditional concept of violence
against women with a human rights-based approach to autonomy and a reflection on
the pervasiveness of patterns of discrimination (diagnosis). VAWH as theorised
in the book allows the reconceptualisation of states’ obligations in an
innovative way, by identifying for both dimensions obligations of result, due
diligence obligations, and obligations to progressively take steps (treatment).
The book eventually asks whether it is not international law itself that is the
ultimate cause of VAWH (prognosis).
Reconceptualising states’ obligations in countering VAWH
Sara De Vido
difficult to cross in individual cases.
74 Report E.CN.4/Sub.2/1987/23. See the evolution in O. De Schutter, International
Human Rights Law (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014) p. 280.
75 H. Shue, Basic Rights, Subsistence, Affluence, and USForeignPolicy (Princeton, NJ:
Princeton University Press, 1980) p. 52.
76 GC No. 22, para. 40.
77 GC No. 22, para. 42.
78 GC No. 22, para. 45.
79 Limburg Principles on the Implementation of the International Covenant on
Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, Maastricht, 2–6 June 1986, UN doc. E/