Does Feminist Movement-Building Reduce Violence Against Women?


Feminist activism is the most consistent and important and consistent driver of policy change to combat violence against women – more important than left-wing parties, numbers of women legislators, or even national wealth (Weldon and Htun, 2013). Although gender equality policy agendas are critical to institutionalise feminist demands, their impact on policy is dependent on the presence of a strong, autonomous movement.  Independent feminist activism puts women's status and well-being as their main priority for action, rather than relegating it to be considered at some eventual time in the future. It generates social knowledge about women's position as a group in society, challenges gender roles, and prioritises gender equality issues by shaping national and international agendas, demanding institutional reforms, and innovating new forms of social organisation for gender equality. As a result, feminist activism promotes critical legal reform and funding to combat violence against women at the local level, as well as shifts dynamics and broadens issues discussed for more effective peace processes