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Title: Women's organisations, international norms and the emergence of domestic violence legislation in the Middle East and North Africa : an examination of activism in Egypt and Lebanon
Author: Chaban, Stephanie
ISNI:       0000 0004 0259 4420
Awarding Body: Ulster University
Current Institution: Ulster University
Date of Award: 2016
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While there has been a general feminist unease with law’s (in)ability to intervene in violent situations in the private sphere, some scholars argue that law not only makes public what occurs in the private, but may also shift gender norms. For the most part, states in the Middle East and North Africa region, while eagerly adopting international frameworks, have been delayed in their efforts to adopt gender-sensitive or women-specific domestic violence legislation. Employing qualitative research methods, this thesis examines how women’s organisations accept, reject or reinterpret international frameworks in the criminalisation of domestic violence in the Middle East and North Africa region. The research also examines the role that transnational or regional women’s networks play in the activism of women’s organisations in Egypt and Lebanon, and the Middle East and North Africa region more broadly. Through the use of the case studies, this research compares and contrasts the debates taking place within the respective sites in order to better understand how women’s organisations and their allies engage with, reject, or reinterpret international norms in their activism to criminalise domestic violence. This thesis argues that women’s organisations and their allies who are responsible for domestic violence laws in Egypt and Lebanon engage with international norms and frameworks when creating such legislation. This is done in different ways. While each law makes specific reference to international frameworks, each engages with international norms concerning violence against women and domestic violence in direct and indirect ways. In Lebanon, this means defying social, religious and political norms and steadfastly engaging with international frameworks and discourse. In Egypt, this involves engaging with international norms coupled with partial vemacularization. Both case studies reveal: (1) the history of domestic violence legal activism in the region is not a new phenomenon; and (2) that such activism is highly contextual.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available