Challenging Global Gender Violence

ChallengingGlobalGenderViolenceBookJacket-FRONTThe publication Challenging Global Gender Violence by Susan Rose
was published by Macmillan/Palgrave Pivot November 2013

Challenging Global Gender Violence provides a qualitative and comparative analysis of women’s experiences of violence, healing, and action across cultures. Gender violence is the most pervasive human rights violation affecting women and children across both the developed and developing world. Featuring women’s stories, artwork, and voices as they speak about their experiences of violence and healing, this book examines the relationship between gender inequality and gender violence; the health impacts of gender violence; and strategies being used to reduce violence against women.

Violence against women and children is pervasive around the world. While the specific cultural contexts and acts of violence vary, the feelings that women express about their experiences of abuse are strikingly similar. So are the images, colors, and words they use to express those feelings. Hearts -bruised, broken, and torn; black and red; NO! and No Más!  are frequently found on shirts contributed to the Global Clothesline Project. While providing a theoretical analysis of trauma, the book  grounds the discussion in the lived experiences and stories of women across cultures.

One of the book’s major contributions is the argument that neither patriarchy nor gender violence has always characterized societies but emerged with increasing economic surplus and wealth stratification. Using case studies of indigenous peoples (Maori and Native Americans), it examines the relationship between colonization and oppression and the increase in gender inequality and gender violence. Moving beyond the debate between cultural relativism and human rights’ universalism, the book makes the argument that abuse was not traditional in all societies. It shows how aspects of “traditional culture” can and are being used as a resource to fight against gender violence rather being used as an excuse for tolerating harmful practices.

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