The ‘Gänseliesel’ (Goose Girlis), a historical fountain erected in 1901, represents the most well-known landmark of the city of Goettingen.


The European Court of Human Rights Through the Looking Glass of Gender: An Evaluation

Natalie Alkiviadou and Andrea Manoli



Gender equality is of paramount importance for a functioning democracy and for economic growth. It is a central tenet of human rights law and has seen significant developments on the legislative, judicial, and policy levels of the Council of Europe. Through a mélange of theory, legislation, and jurisprudential analysis, this paper will assess developments in the European Court of Human Rights’ approach to the issue of gender equality. This will be achieved through a survey of case law involving domestic violence, child-bearing, and the wearing of religious dress by women. The paper will demonstrate that, despite the existence of significant milestones in the ambit of promoting gender equality, and, notwithstanding effective advancements made by this body, particularly vis-à-vis domestic violence case law, improvements to its approach remain necessary. More specifically, on one level, the Court denounces and works against gender inequality and discrimination but, on another, consciously or unconsciously, its approach and findings are marred by its own stereotypes, patriarchal influences, misconceptions, and preconceptions about what gender equality actually is and how it should be pursued.



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