International law has historically avoided regulating sex-based violence directed toward women in times of war. States saw little strategic interest in addressing such "private" concerns in the public arena of treaties or international courts. As armed confrontation between and within states was generally carried out by male combatants, the laws of war were generally constructed from the vista of a soldier's need for ordered rules within which to wage war on behalf of the state. Consequently, women's interests fared notoriously badly when accountability was sought for the behavior of combatants. In particular, sex-based violence was spectacularly unregulated by international law. By sex-based violence I mean a wide variety of violent and victimizing acts directed at women because of their gender.

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