SDG 5 aims to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. Browse books and journal articles relating to this SDG below and find out more on the UN Sustainable Development Goals website.
Goal 5: Gender Equality
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This chapter looks at: US society and its criminal justice system; campus policing; and control and compliance. Regarding abuse on campus there is an urgency given the ‘epidemic’ of cases. Wealth plays an important role in the US and it influences politics, the media, higher education and criminal justice; hence; money and legal muscle can strongly impact on cases and on institutional responses. In particular, hardline methods are typically employed in the US against female victims regarding sexual offences. Then parents of a male student accused of sexual offences typically resort to expensive lawyers who strongly contest any allegations and use every appeal opportunity to prolong proceedings, while battling to weaken any proposed sanctions. Further, the chapter examines: the treatment of victims; ‘private justice’ in schools; campus scandals and sexual abuse; and the sometimes complicit role of sororities in offences. There is also the contested area of false accusations, drawing on the real ‘Seccuro’ case – at the University of Virginia in 1984– and a student’s false complaint and ensuing turmoil.
The material here has to be placed in the wider context of long-standing and deeply rooted prejudice and discrimination against women in many societies, along with high levels of sexual abuse and harassment in some organizations, professions and institutions, including colleges/universities. Moreover, the law and assumptions about sexual offences vary across and within societies. This chapter examines the policing of sexual offences comparatively and how bias and prejudice impact on enforcement. The features of prejudice and discrimination have often affected female students in the US and Western societies seeking justice following abuse. They often encounter persistent and flawed assumptions, demeaning tactics and the downplaying of the gravity of sexual offences.
Student life generally involves a degree of ebullience and in the traditional US/UK universities that was largely within the residential colleges, each with its own subculture, rituals and practices. Within those colleges, diverse student societies or clubs were founded, with some indulging in excess that has been documented in college records, news reports, films and memoirs, but some has been cloaked in secrecy. Within Anglo-American universities there were distinctions within elites as in Oxford, with elite exclusive clubs whose members went on to high political functions, but some indulged in excess and the destruction of property. Women were often excluded, except on specific occasions, and on some occasions there was abuse, which was typically not reported. There was often an element of risk and violence especially in the US, leading to injury or even a fatality.
This article maps the field of substantive representation of social groups and carves out a new research agenda. Examining a database of 313 publications, we identify patterns in what is studied in the field and how it is studied. Our findings suggest that while scholarship on the substantive representation of social groups has expanded over the years, many studies still predominantly (1) analyse the representation of women in (2) the governmental sphere, while adopting a focus on (3) a single country, (4) a single group and (5) a single axis. Comparative work across countries and groups is more scarce. We therefore argue in favour of a comparative research agenda that prioritises more cross-country and cross-group research on the substantive representation of social groups using pluralistic research methods. This direction offers distinct advantages for answering new research questions, exploring diversity in how the substantive representation of social groups takes place, identifying broader patterns across different contexts and groups, and formulating new explanations on the occurrence and quality of the substantive representation of social groups.
The Safecity reporting platform, which was launched in December 2012, has been crowdsourcing anonymous stories of sexual and gender-based violence to make visible the under-reported nature of these incidents. With a data set of now 19,000+ reports, it is insightful to study the patterns and trends within the data, based on location, time of day, day of week and so forth. This provides a better understanding of the context in which sexual and gender-based violence occurs and what might contribute to the location being the comfort zone of the perpetrator. Through three case studies, one in New Delhi, India, and another in Mumbai, plus in Nairobi, Kenya, we offer here a deep dive into how the location and the cultural context contributes to sexual and gender-based violence, impacts the opportunity structure afforded women, and influences the kinds of solutions that have worked.
As society becomes increasingly connected, digital spaces like Twitter have become more important. However, in this same space online abuse, such as ‘negativity, hostility and trolling’, are frequently used to silence women, particularly when discussing and responding to instances of violence against women. Although community trust and safety rules have been updated multiple times, the platform relies on users to report abusive and threatening tweets. It remains unclear why some reports are upheld where others are denied. We argue this is because Twitter has become a socially constructed ‘masculine space’, where most tech employees who enforce the rules are male. This chapter investigates why existing procedures do not work for everyone and how Twitter has created an infrastructure that is toxic to women.
Niger, like its neighbours in the Sahel, has since the early 2010s faced increased violence and insecurity that has captured significant geopolitical attention. Niger’s armed forces are mobilized throughout the country to quell insurgencies, while a number of international forces are present under the auspices of capacity-building missions providing equipment, training, intelligence and other behind-the-scenes activities aimed at empowering the national military and state apparatus to provide protection to citizens. Simultaneously, Niger is populated by international and national non-governmental organizations and United Nations agencies, which play a role in generating discourse and practice around gender-based violence and women’s rights. As military and humanitarian actors with different methods and discourse find themselves sharing the same operating spaces, the resulting dynamic is one of simultaneous NGO-ization, in which (largely international) actors overtake the civil and discursive space for women’s rights; and militarization, which privileges violence and thus restricts the safety and agency of women and girls. This chapter argues that concurrence of these phenomena obstructs women’s participation and is productive of gender-based violence, ultimately contributing to the spiralling fragility of the country.
This chapter explores the ways in which women negotiate, manage – and to a degree accept – gender-based violence (GBV) on a ‘girls’ night out’, drawing on original research conducted with young women in north-east England. With a particular focus on mainstream bar, pub and club spaces where patterns of (hetero)sexualized interaction are normalized and expected, the chapter highlights the spatial dynamics that were apparent in young women’s accounts of risk and safety when clubbing and consuming alcohol with their female friends. Specifically, it identifies a tension in the ways in which women framed GBV; it was simultaneously positioned as pervasive and inevitable (‘everywhere’) and as something that took place in certain ‘risky’ venues and parts of town (‘over there’). In this sense, risk could be imagined as confined to particular ‘rough’ or ‘working-class’ areas in the city centre, yet at the same time, a degree of GBV was regarded as an embedded and normalized part of the entire mainstream nightlife scene. This normalization of GBV across the night-time economy may help to legitimize a broader spectrum of GBV and reinforce the idea that women should both expect and accept it in their daily lives.
In this chapter, we outline some Italian feminist reflections and practices relating to the link between urban space and gender-based violence, focusing on the shift from an idea of security towards one of self-determination in public space. In order to map the Italian debate through our theoretical and empirical work, we will sketch out three meaningful dimensions. First, we outline the shift in the literature on women and LGBTQIA+ subjectivities and the city from an understanding of security to self-determination, by redefining the notion of gender-based violence. Then, we will describe certain feminist and transfeminist movements’ activities in urban spaces as an example of self-determination from below. Finally, we will propose some emerging insights from the contemporary pandemic context. By combining the experiences and contributions that we collected, we aim to provide a picture of a feminist city.
Since the 1980s there has been a rapid increase in the available evidence about the prevalence, causes, impacts and responses to gender-based violence (GBV). Despite the explosion of research in this field – and vital contributions from feminist geographers – space and place remain important, yet overlooked, elements of GBV. This edited collection provides an inter- and multidisciplinary international collection of chapters that foregrounds space and place in the analysis of gender-based violence. Contributors examine core questions relating to the role(s) that space and place-based factors might play in facilitating and producing experiences of violence, with attendant implications for prevention and intervention. Contributions to this collection consider how space and place may be productive in the perpetration of gendered violence, as well as shaping how gendered violence is lived and understood by survivors. With an analytic focus spanning the local, national and transnational, this volume brings together diverse perspectives and ways of understanding the interconnections between space, place and gender-based violence.