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The Struggle for Freedom from FearContesting Violence against Women at the Frontiers of Globalization$
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Alison Brysk

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190901516

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190901516.001.0001

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Violence against Women

Violence against Women

(p.1) 1 Violence against Women
The Struggle for Freedom from Fear

Alison Brysk

Oxford University Press

This chapter outlines the global problem, prevalence, causes, and consequences of violence against women. Women worldwide face special risks from the beginning to the end of the life-cycle: from female feticide to female genital mutilation/circumcision in infancy, from child abuse to honor violence and forced marriage at puberty, from sexual assault to femicide in adolescence and youth, forced labor and battering in adulthood, and targeted killing of witches and widows in old age. Violence against women is the most pervasive unfinished business of the international human rights regime, and a threat to global security, development, and public health. We will see that gender violence arises as a violation of human rights with special logics, and a growing contradiction of development and globalization. The cross-national risk factors for physical insecurity of women worldwide include conflicted development, shortfalls in democracy, social inequality, uneven urbanization, and gender role disparity. These factors play out in specific “gender regime” configurations of governance, political economy, and gender roles that fall into patrimonial, semi-liberal, and liberal patterns that suggest distinct strategies of intervention.

Keywords:   human rights, gender violence, globalization, gender regimes, human security, development

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