What Makes Domestic Violence Legislation More Effective?
Author: Cecilia Sardenberg
Size: 18 pages (1.39KB )
This paper draws on lessons from Brazil's Maria da Penha legislation, passed in 2006, and from Bangladesh and Ghana. It argues that women's organising is vital not only to get laws passed, but also in monitoring their implementation and holding governments to account. The effectiveness of domestic violence legislation depends on: the monitoring of policies by civil society organisations, appropriate training for all service providers, cross-agency coordination, public support, and adequate budgets at all levels of government.
Domestic violence is multi-faceted, complex and devastating to women. An estimated one in three women in the world is affected by domestic violence, independent of their social standing and cultural background.
The mobilisation of women has helped to make domestic violence more visible. In addition, feminist organisations and researchers have made important contributions to the formulation of policies and legislation.
In many countries around the world, laws are now in place making domestic violence against women a crime. Yet implementation often lags behind legal reforms. Regular monitoring of domestic violence legislation is therefore needed. UN Women notes that such monitoring involves:
Women's organising is vital for publicising the harmful nature of domestic violence and for formulating and monitoring domestic violence legislation. Donors need to support feminist organisations and initiatives to confront domestic violence. Further, comprehensive legislation packages are needed to confront domestic violence against women. These should include punitive, protective and preventive measures and provisions for the monitoring of implementation. It is also important to:
Sardenberg, C., 2011, ‘What Makes Domestic Violence Legislation More Effective?’, Pathways Policy Paper, Pathways of Women's Empowerment Research Programme Consortium, Brighton