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Criminalising violence against women: feminism, penality, and rights in post neoliberal Ecuador

Tapia Tapia, Silvana Cristina (2017) Criminalising violence against women: feminism, penality, and rights in post neoliberal Ecuador. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent,. (KAR id:62463)

Language: English

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This thesis asks how penality, understood as the whole of the penal complex, with its laws, procedures, and sanctions, has become central to feminist strategies to counteract violence against women (VAW) in Ecuador. A new penal code came into force in 2014, criminalising some forms of domestic VAW, which had thus far been treated as misdemeanours, and introducing the new crime of "femicide". The thesis argues that human rights discourses have played a crucial role in bolstering penality by presenting criminalisation as an essential component of human rights protection. Feminist networks resort to a "rights-based penality" to legitimise criminalisation processes and to frame VAW as a human rights issue to which penalisation is the self-evident response.

While Western literature has associated penal expansion with neoliberal globalisation, and the emergence of a "carceral feminism" with the side-lining of social redistribution in feminist agendas, Ecuador's 2008 Constitution explicitly challenges neoliberal approaches to wellbeing and development, and incorporates indigenous relational conceptions of justice. In view of this, considering that socio-legal research is limited in the country, this thesis employs a multi-method qualitative approach, including analyses of discourses within historical and current legal documents, and interviews of Ecuadorian feminists who participated in penal reform processes. The findings show that rights-based penality has become a universalised field of intelligibility to interpret and express the wrongness of VAW. Human rights mask the colonial continuities that travel through penal discourses, displacing indigenous understandings of justice and subjectivity,

rights, acknowledging the colonial legacy of penal institutions, and recognising the effects of penality on women's access to justice could enable an exploration of indigenous cosmovisions to propose non-hegemonic strategies to counteract gendered violence.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Bedford, Kate
Uncontrolled keywords: criminal law, feminist legal theory, women's human rights, violence against women, Ecuador, Sumak Kawsay, governance feminism, carceral feminism, penality, penal expansion, post-neoliberal, neoliberalism, Latin America, coloniality of gender, gender and race
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of History
SWORD Depositor: System Moodle
Depositing User: System Moodle
Date Deposited: 28 Jul 2017 12:46 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 13:47 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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