Thursday, August 16, 2018

Belief systems and gender norms fuel violence against women: exploring the beliefs and behaviours of young women and men

The report identifies eight belief systems and gender norms that fuel violence against women in the region. The accompanying beliefs and behaviours for each belief system and norm are described, showing both the regional trend and a comparison across the eight countries studied, highlighting the country or countries with the highest prevalence. These belief systems and gender norms are related to control of women’s bodies and sexuality and are rooted in the construction of a subordinated femininity and a hegemonic masculinity.7 The persistence of such beliefs and behaviours has a direct correlation with social impunity for perpetrators of violence against women and girls. 
For the analysis, we have used the metaphor of three mirrors: distorting mirrors, augmenting mirrors and worn/outdated mirrors. We consider belief systems and gender norms as representing mirrors in which men and women are obliged to see themselves, behaving in such a way as to ensure compliance with the gender stereotypes prescribed for them throughout their lives.

Distorting mirrors are the belief systems and gender norms associated with direct control over women’s bodies in relation to one of the strongest champions of hegemonic masculinity: male virility. Augmenting mirrors are beliefs and norms associated with expressions of control, but in relation to romantic love and the obligations of a concept of sexuality that leaves no room for anything other than compulsory heterosexuality. The main aspect of worn/outdated mirrors is the standardization of certain forms of violence and the provisions that have become entrenched as the attributes of a ‘good woman’.;jsessionid=C0B9203D92B240B38BE44DEFB762EC55?sequence=3

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