Review of International Studies

Sanctions as a gendered instrument of statecraft: the case of Iraq



Even though a vibrant literature on gender in international relations has developed over the last decade, students of international sanctions have not explored sanctions from a gendered perspective: analyses tend to have been either gender-neutral or gender-blind. By the same token, however, feminist scholars of international politics have not included sanctions in their empirical investigations. This article examines sanctions from a gendered perspective. Using conclusions suggested by the feminist IR literature, we examine the case-study of the sanctions against Iraq, and demonstrate the degree to which these measures had deeply gender-specific impacts, ranging from differential deprivations to declines in dowry wealth. We conclude from the Iraqi experience that the gendered effects of sanctions have considerable implications for sanctions theory.