A Path to Transformation: Asking “The Woman Question” in International Law

Methods matter, and the discussion over feminist methods in international law is an important one. As Kathrine Bartlett famously noted, “thinking about method is empowering.” It makes us more aware of the nature of what we do and what we aim to improve in the law. Consequently, we can act more effectively when we examine legal structures and do it with a stronger sense of commitment towards our feminist work. Methods are also the fundamental means by which we produce “valid knowing.” The discussion of feminist methods in international law is one that engages with the combination of rules and assumptions that shape and delimit our views about the exclusion of women’s experiences from this doctrine. Methods determine the ways within those limits by which we aim to assert truth claims, determine our possibilities and conclusions, and establish the grounds for legal reform. Our chosen method defines what we consider as evidence and what we accept as proof. Yet, it cannot guarantee a particular outcome or even the right one. Rather, it provides a sense of discipline in our analysis.