Summary

How can we understand and contest the global wave of violence against women? In this book, Alison Brysk shows that gender violence across countries tends to change as countries develop and liberalize, but not in the ways that we might predict. She shows how liberalizing authoritarian countries and transitional democracies may experience more shifting patterns and greater levels of violence than less developed and democratic countries, due to changes and uncertainties in economic and political structures. Accordingly, Brysk analyzes the experience of semi-liberal, developing countries at the frontiers of globalization--Brazil, India, South Africa, Mexico, the Philippines, and Turkey--to map out patterns of gender violence and what can be done to change those patterns. As the book shows, gender violence is not static, nor can it be attributed to culture or individual pathology--rather it varies across a continuum that tracks economic, political, and social change. While a combination of international action, law, public policy, civil society mobilization, and changes in social values work to decrease gender violence, Brysk assesses the potential, limits, and balance of these measures. Brysk shows that a human rights approach is necessary but not sufficient to address gender violence, and that insights from feminist and development approaches are essential.

Chapters

Chapter One: Violence against Women

Chapter Two: Constructing Human Rights

Chapter Three: Acting Globally: The International Rights Repetoire

Chapter Four: Mobilization: Standing Up for Women's Security

Chapter Five: Freedom: The Struggle for Sexual Self-Determination

Chapter Six: The Right to Life: Femicide and Intimate Partner Violence

Chapter Seven: The Right to Bodily Integrity: The Struggle to End Sexual Violence

Chapter Eight: Ending Impunity: Law and Its Limits

Chapter Nine: Expanding Rights: Gendered Public Policy

Chapter Ten: Norm Change: Pathways of Persuasion

Chapter Eleven: Conclusion: The Quest for Freedom from Fear

About the Author
Image of Alison Brysk
Alison Brysk

Alison Brysk is Mellichamp Professor of Global Governance at University of California, Santa Barbara. She worked on this book while she was a fellow from 2013-2014. Read More