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The practices and arrangements within a family can create grounds for violence. Although we agree that family processes are important, we think that these explanations…
The practices and arrangements within a family can create grounds for violence. Although we agree that family processes are important, we think that these explanations downplay the structure of families (nuclear, extended) and thereby the ways in which gender relations are organized. In this paper, domestic violence is explored as an intra-family dynamic that extends beyond the intimate partner relationship and which seeps into court rulings of cases of such violence.
Using archival data from 164 Supreme Court case decisions on domestic violence in India for the period 1995–2011, we examine both the patterns of conviction and the complexities of gender relations within the family by systematically coding the Court’s rulings.
Analysis of court rulings show that mothers-in-law were convicted in 14% cases and the husband was convicted in 41% cases. We call attention to the collective nature of the domestic violence crime in India where mothers-in-law were seldom convicted alone (3% of cases) but were more likely to be convicted along with other members of the family. Two dominant themes we discuss are the gendered nature of familial relations beyond the intimate partner relationship and the pervasiveness of such gendered relationships from the natal home to the marital family making victims of domestic violence isolated and “homeless.”
Future research may benefit from using data in addition to the judgments to consider caste and class differences in the rulings. An intersectionality perspective may add to the understanding of the interpretation of the laws by the courts.
Insights from this paper have important policy implications. As discussed in the paper, the unintended support for violence from the natal family is an indication of their powerlessness and therefore further victimization through the law will not help. It is critical that natal families re-frame their powerlessness which is often derived from their status as families with daughters. Considering that most women in India turn to their natal families first for support when they face violence in their marriages, policy must enable such families to act and utilize the law.
By examining court rulings on cases of domestic violence in India we focus on the power exerted by some women particularly within extended families which is central to understanding gender relations within institutions. These relations are legitimized by the courts in the ways they interpret the law and rule on cases.
Over the past few years, the electronic media, as represented by the internet version of print media and independent blogs of journalists, has become a major player in the…
Over the past few years, the electronic media, as represented by the internet version of print media and independent blogs of journalists, has become a major player in the coverage of incidents related to violence against women. While this has brought forward issues of violence and specifically rape prominently into the public sphere, the media portrayal of women has often been as victims or victims who are somehow responsible for the violence against them. Such portrayal has been repeatedly challenged by feminists. Using data from 572 national and international English media reports for a six-month period (from December 2012 to April 2013) the coverage of the protests about the 2012 case of gang rape and eventual death of Jyoti Singh Pandey in India’s capital city, New Delhi, is examined in this chapter. Drawing from past research, three main frames are discerned in the portrayal of women in the reports: mainstreaming gender, endangered woman, and the ungendered woman. Media portrayals of these three frames by three broadly categorized actors most prominently covered by the media reports are analyzed: activists, state representatives or political actors, and ordinary citizens. The findings suggest that while some reports allude to women’s agency and rights particularly when they cover feminist activists, women’s agency is marginalized in the debates around safety and protection for women when other actors (such as state representatives or political actors, and ordinary citizens) are considered. Indian women’s rights have been reduced to passive messages negating the broader politics of the contemporary women’s movement.
Resistances of Nongovernmental Organizations (NGO) to the construction of gendered religious nationalism are addressed. The implications of such resistances and…
Resistances of Nongovernmental Organizations (NGO) to the construction of gendered religious nationalism are addressed. The implications of such resistances and redefinitions of gendered religious nationalism for the women’s movement in India and transnationally are also assessed.
Semi-structured interviews with leaders and/or key informants of purposively selected organizations in the state of Gujarat serve as the primary data for the chapter. Using a grounded theory approach, the study is a qualitative analysis of the interviews and a reading of major published documents, unpublished reports, and internal reports of the NGOs that were made available.
The analysis discerns three main frames deployed by NGOs in resisting attempts by the state to construct nationalism: Communal Harmony (Not Communal Violence), “Endangered” Woman and Gender Mainstreaming. The “communal harmony, not communal violence” frame views women as an ungendered part of their communities. Although women are made central to the religious violence and struggle, they are viewed as passive persons without rights. This passive frame is the “endangered woman” frame. But women’s groups and NGOs addressing the violence have actively sought to emphasize the gender aspect of all formal and informal political activities. This is the “gender mainstreaming” frame. However, the mere visibility of women in political discourse should not be confused with the feminist framing of women’s rights or mainstreaming women’s issues.
The analysis brings an organizational agency perspective to consider resistance to the gendered basis of the violence perpetrated and embedded in nationalism.
Adopting a two-sited approach, this paper examines frames deployed by a network of organizations by developing the concept of the transnational field. The transnational…
Adopting a two-sited approach, this paper examines frames deployed by a network of organizations by developing the concept of the transnational field. The transnational field is the geo-specific field within which the movement organizations are encompassed which can explain the differential power across ties in a transnational network. It enables analyzing whether frames at the local and transnational level are similar, remain as is or are altered within a field which is mediated by the power dynamics embedded in the political-economic-cultural relationships between countries. Using qualitative data, this study of ties between movement organizations in the Amazonian region of Ecuador (local level) and organizations in the United States (transnational level) provides evidence for empirical and narrative fidelity of frames at both ends of the network. The two-sited approach enriches the understanding of resistance to globalization by prioritizing the perspective of indigenous peoples in the Global South highlighting the North–South power dynamic. Departing from common assumptions about the power of US-based groups in the choice of frames deployed, the analysis show that ties between organizations in a transnational network are complex as they rely on each other for resources and information. We discuss the conditions under which local frames are deployed or redefined at the transnational level.
This introduction locates the 11 chapters of the volume under three headings: Agency-Affirming Places, Overtly Hostile or Agency-Denying Places, and Covertly Negating…
This introduction locates the 11 chapters of the volume under three headings: Agency-Affirming Places, Overtly Hostile or Agency-Denying Places, and Covertly Negating Places. Each chapter is summarized briefly, detailing its methods and key findings. Following the summaries, the editors point to common themes among the chapters and discuss the relationship between media and physical and symbolic gender-based violence as illustrated in the chapters.
This introduction sets forth the main themes of Part B of the two-part volume, reviews the methods employed by the contributors, and demonstrates the relationships among…
This introduction sets forth the main themes of Part B of the two-part volume, reviews the methods employed by the contributors, and demonstrates the relationships among these chapters and those of Part A.
The chapters in the volume exemplify current research approaches to the subject matter: gender-based violence. The introduction identifies trends and themes.
Worldwide attention is being drawn to examples and forms of gender-based violence. These are currently major topics in the media, both factual and fictional. Public policies are under discussion and programs to deal with them are developing. However, because the discussions and the programs are often not research-based or intersectionally inclusive, gender-based violence persists and victims are sometimes ignored, blamed, or subjected to further violence.
The chapter serves as an overall introduction to the volume and the subject matter more generally.