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This article analyses the gender dimension of the European Commission’s proposals to revise the governance of the European Union in response to the crisis by increasing the powers of the European Union level. The proposed change in the location of the subsidiarity boundary has significant gender implications: subsidiarity is gendered. The alternative strategies for economic growth and security have implications for democracy and gender equality. The concepts of ‘gender regime’ (and its social-democratic and neoliberal varieties) and ‘project’ are developed and applied. The possibility of the embedding of the gender-equality project in the new institutions proposed by the Commission is discussed.

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The theory of crisis and society is advanced by developing a complex systems analysis and is applied to the COVID-19 pandemic. Five issues are identified, discussed and resolved: the definition of crisis; whether a crisis is treated as real or as a socially constructed narrative, or both; the underlying concept and theory of society and its alternative forms; and the different kinds of change in relationship between crisis and society (recuperation, intensification, transformation and catastrophe). This complex systems approach to crisis is applied to the COVID-19 pandemic, analysing the cascade of the crisis through institutional domains and the consequent changes to multiple regimes of inequality.

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This article aims to mainstream gender into the measurement of violence, in order to assist the development of the theory of change needed to support actions to end violence. It addresses the division between gender-neutral and women-only strategies of data collection that is failing to deliver the quality evidence needed to address the extent and distribution of violence, developing a better operationalisation of the concepts of gender and violence for statistical analysis, and producing a checklist of criteria to assess the quality of statistics on gendered violence. It assesses the strengths and weakness of surveys linked to two contrasting theoretical perspectives: the Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) Survey of Violence Against Women and the Office for National Statistics (ONS) Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW). It shows how the FRA Survey fails and how the ONS has limited the potential of the CSEW. It therefore offers a solution with a short questionnaire that is fit for purpose as well as ways of analysing data that escape the current polarisation.

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Evaluating the quality of employment and care policy in relation to gender equality is important given the continuing inequalities between men and women in paid and unpaid work. However, assessment raises dilemmas: quality according to what criteria; quality for whom; and quality of what? It is proposed here that good quality means transformation in gender relations towards an equal distribution of paid and unpaid work, equal pay and de-segregation; that sensitivity to differences between women is required, but not the adoption of different quality standards; and that working towards the goal of transformation demands consideration of several interconnected policy arenas. Assessing quality is difficult; but it is possible – and it is crucial to achieving gender equality.

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Towards a comprehensive policy

Available Open Access under CC-BY-NC licence. The need to stop rape is pressing and, since it is the outcome of a wide range of practices and institutions in society, so too must the policies be to stop it This important book offers a comprehensive guide to the international policies developed to stop rape , together with case study examples on how they work. The book engages with the law and criminal justice system, health services, specialised services for victim-survivors, educational and cultural interventions, as well as how they can best be coordinated. It is informed by theory and evidence drawn from scholarship and practice from around the world.

The book will be of interest to a global readership of students, practitioners and policy makers as well as anyone who wants to know how rape can be stopped.

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Available Open Access under CC-BY-NC licence.

The extent of violence against women is currently hidden. How should violence be measured? How should research and new ways of thinking about violence improve its measurement? Could improved measurement change policy?

The book is a guide to how the measurement of violence can be best achieved. It shows how to make femicide, rape, domestic violence, and FGM visible in official statistics. It offers practical guidance on definitions, indicators and coordination mechanisms. It reflects on theoretical debates on ‘what is gender’, ‘what is violence’, and ‘the concept of coercive control’. and introduces the concept of ‘gender saturated context’. Analysing the socially constructed nature of statistics and the links between knowledge and power, it sets new standards and guidelines to influence the measurement of violence in the coming decades.

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Rape shatters lives. Its traumatising effects can linger for many years after the immediate pain and suffering. Rape is a consequence and a cause of gender inequality. It is an injury to health; a crime; a violation of women’s human rights; and costly to both the economy and society.

Stopping rape requires changes to many policies and practices. There is no simple solution; rather, a myriad of reforms are needed to prevent rape. New policies are being innovated around the world, north and south, which are often intended to prevent rape and to support victims/survivors simultaneously. This book provides an overview of the current best practice from around the world for ending rape.

In order to prevent rape, it is necessary to know what causes rape. The selection of the examples of good and promising practice in this book is guided by a theory of the causes of rape. The causal pathways that lead to rape involve many of society’s institutions. These pathways are embedded in the state and public services, including the criminal justice system and healthcare; culture, media and education; in other forms and contexts of violence; and in the economy.

Stopping rape requires the effective mobilisation of all of these actors and institutions. It is not a single institution that needs to change, however: most social institutions need reform, and society needs transforming. Prevention is not a simple matter of changing attitudes such as by ‘educating’ boys, although every reform makes a contribution. Preventing rape requires reforms in the many institutions that make up the social system.

Open access

Preventing rape requires policies that affect many aspects of society. No single intervention is sufficient. This is because many of the causes of rape lie deep in the structures and systems of society. The details of these various interventions are addressed in the chapters that follow. The focus in this chapter is on: the strategic planning for a comprehensive set of policy practices; the coordination of multiple services; the initial development of specialist services for victim-survivors; and the data and research needed to evaluate policy developments.

Strategic planning is taking place at multiple levels: the UN, the Council of Europe, the EU and individual states. The creation of ‘national action plans’ (NAPs) that are regularly reviewed and evaluated has been an important part of the development of strategic planning. The development of strategic planning and the evaluation of policies require research, data and statistics. It is necessary to know how much rape there is, its patterns, and the quality of the performance of the institutions that are supposed to be addressing the problem.

There are a myriad of services and practices that might potentially be useful to victim-survivors and to changing the environment that produces rape. Coordination of multiple services for victim-survivors not only has a national component but also regional and local aspects. The specialised services for victim-survivors can be either standalone services or integrated into generic services. This chapter discusses the development of standalone services, while Chapters 3 and 4 on health and on justice discuss specialised victim services that are developed within these mainstream service providers.

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The provision of immediate assistance to victim-survivors of rape is the central contribution of the health sector to the mitigation of the harms of rape and to rape prevention. The development of standalone specialised services by feminist activists in the 1970s has been followed by the development of professional care as part of the work of health services. In some locations, such as the UK, both forms of care for victim-survivors of rape co-exist. The health consequences of rape involve both physical and mental trauma, and require a range of interventions, flexible in response to victim-survivor choices. The improvement in access to and quality of health services for victim-survivors of rape includes mental, sexual and reproductive health services. There have been important innovations in health services addressing actual and potential health issues, and in the use of the diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These health services are differently organised in response to rape in different contexts (Lovett et al, 2004; Wang and Rowley, 2007; WHO, 2013a).

This chapter is focused on establishing current best practices for health sector-led interventions for women who have been raped in non-disaster zones and in humanitarian emergencies. It begins by outlining the health impacts of sexual violence and rape; this is followed by identification of how best practices have been established; and then the minimum and current best practice standards for health interventions for victim-survivors of rape and sexual violence in non-disaster zones and in humanitarian emergencies are explicated and presented. Healthcare for victim-survivors is important in both non-disaster zones and disaster zones, where it is an essential component of humanitarian programmes.

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The criminal justice system should provide justice for victims. It is intended to hold perpetrators to account, reducing impunity, and thereby helping to prevent crimes. There have been important developments and promising practices in law and in the criminal justice system concerning rape and other forms of sexual violence, but challenges remain. Three issues are addressed here: the changing approaches to rape in law; the reform of practices in criminal justice systems; and the new forms of treatment of convicted rapists. The legal and criminal justice practices in conflict zones are further addressed next, in Chapter 5.

The principles underpinning the law on rape have been developing, drawing on concepts of human rights and gender equality, although not uniformly so. The definition of rape in law has been developing, albeit unevenly, removing marital exceptions and moving towards a consent-based definition. The care with which victim-survivors are treated in the criminal justice system has implications for its effectiveness because of its consequences on the attrition of cases through the Criminal Justice processes. There are promising practices within the criminal justice system that treat victim-survivors with more respect and better prevent secondary victimisation, but there is still considerable ‘attrition’, which means that many cases of rape reported to the police do not lead to a conviction. New forms of treatment of convicted sex offenders, including rapists, are emerging, however, that attempt to reform and rehabilitate them.

Rape is illegal everywhere. It is a crime in its own right, without reference or justification to any other legal principle or standard, in many national and some international legal regimes.

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