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An analysis of the Inter-American Court’s decisions on violence against women

Publicado em: An analysis of the Inter-American Court’s decisions on violence against women

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights had its first period of sessions in 1979. Despite the widespread feminist activism on the issue of ‘violence against women’ in Latin America since the 1980s, it was not until 2004 that the Court addressed this problem and applied the Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment, and Eradication of Violence against Women, known as the Convention of Belém do Pará (where it was adopted in 1994). Since then, the Court has examined several cases of ‘violence against women’. In framing the cases, the Court and complainants, including the Inter-American Commission, victims and non-governmental organizations, have relied on a gender perspective. They have also increasingly framed cases of ‘violence against women’ from an intersectional perspective. Yet, what type of intersectional approach is represented in the Court’s rulings? Does the Court frame intersectionality from a multiple and individualistic model, rather than from a more complex, structural perspective on the intersections of gender, race, class, and/or sexuality? What are the remedies established by the Court? Are they informed by an intersectional frame of violence against women? In this paper, I and Mariana Assis examine these questions by critically analyzing the case-law of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights from 2004 to 2021. The number of cases framing violence against women from an intersectional perspective is still very small, compared to other cases that frame the same issue from a gender perspective. We also found that the frame of intersectionality is multiple and doesn’t fully grasp the complexities and structural roots of violence against women as a product of intersected systems of heteropatriarchy and gendered racism.

Atividade no âmbito do Programa de Doutoramento “Human Rights in Contemporary Societies

Nota biográfica

Cecília MacDowell Santos is Professor of Sociology at the University of San Francisco and Researcher at the Center for Social Studies, University of Coimbra. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology (UC Berkeley) and a Master in Law (University of São Paulo). Her research interests center on laws, policies, and feminist mobilizations to combat gender-based and multiple, intersected forms of violence, as well as transnational legal mobilization for human rights. She is the author of Women’s Police Stations: Gender, Violence, and Justice in São Paulo, Brazil (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005) and has edited and co-edited several books. Her latest co-edited volume is titled Violências contra Mulheres, Feminismos & Direitos: Análises interseccionais e decoloniais (Lumen Juris, 2023). She has published numerous book chapters and articles about violence against women, memory and justice, the State, and transnational legal mobilization for human rights in Brazil and in the context of the inter-American system of human rights. She has also conducted research and published a book on transnational legal mobilization in the context of Portugal and the European Court of Human Rights.

Fonte: An analysis of the Inter-American Court’s decisions on violence against women
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