Feminist mobilisation for policy change on violence against women: insights from Asia

Paola Cagna, Nitya Rao

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This article explores how women’s movements in China, India and Indonesia have mobilized to influence processes of legal reform on violence against women (VAW). Legal change is a complex and iterative process, in which both state and non-state actors negotiate and bargain over the content of law in the ‘policy space’, bringing different interests and needs to bear. The three countries featured here differ in many ways, including population size, political system (including varying levels and degrees of democratization and decentralization, and regional and local autonomy), and diversity in the population, including ethnicities and religions. A comparative study such as this offers important potential for understanding policy change on VAW, the role of women’s movements in this, and the obstacles to change.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-290
Number of pages14
JournalGender and Development
Issue number2
Early online date15 Jul 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • violence against women
  • legal reform
  • China
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • women's movements
  • policy space

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