Struggle and Hope: Challenging Gender Violence in Pakistan


Critelli, Filomena M., and Jennifer Willett. 2012. “Struggle and Hope: Challenging Gender Violence in Pakistan.” Critical Sociology, 1–21. doi:10.1177/0896920512438780.


Authors: Filomena M. Critelli, Jennifer Willett


Despite the overwhelming media attention to the rise of fundamentalism, Pakistan’s vocal women’s movement has remained unrevealed and unexamined. Gender violence is integral to the agenda of the women’s movement, because of the profound violation of women’s human rights to life and security. This article draws on formal in-depth interviews and participant observation with women’s activists of two prominent women’s nongovernmental organizations in Lahore, Pakistan. Using a transnational feminist framework and feminist social movement theory, it examines the organizations’ strategies for change and how the historical, political, and social environments of their fields for protest shape these strategies. The struggles and achievements of women’s activism against gender violence are analyzed with implications beyond the experiences of these organizations.

Keywords: gender violence, Pakistan, political fields, transnational feminism, women's rights

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Rights, Women's Rights, Terrorism, Violence Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Pakistan

Year: 2012

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