Enhancing Women’s Rights and Capabilities: An Intersectional Approach to Gender-Based Violence Prevention
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Drawing on post-colonial feminist theory, this thesis provides a critical assessment of United Nations (UN) gender-based violence theory and practice. Chapter One provides epistemic critiques of UN agencies’ current theoretical framework, paying particular attention to the concepts of gender, power, and culture. In order to help redress the problems identified in Chapter One, I argue in Chapter Two that we must look to the feminist theory of intersectionality. With its nuanced conceptions of oppression and privilege, intersectionality provides analytic depth to discussions of gender, power, and culture, which I argue can improve the practical effectiveness of gender-based violence prevention efforts. Chapter Three outlines the UN’s shortcomings in practice and illustrates how intersectionality can help remedy the problems identified. Drawing on the case of refugee camps in Ngara and Kibondo Tanzania, I highlight how specific programs and policies informed by the UN’s framework prove inadequate in both decreasing rates of violence and providing services to survivors. Finally, I discuss future implications of an intersectional approach to gender-based violence prevention and how it makes an invaluable contribution to established UN practice.
At the time of publication Maggie Corser was at the New School.
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