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A Difficult Match: Women's Actions and Legal Institutions in the Face of Domestic Violence

A. Suneetha and Vasudha Nagaraj
Economic and Political Weekly
Vol. 41, No. 41 (Oct. 14-20, 2006), pp. 4355-4362
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4418811
Page Count: 8
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
A Difficult Match: Women's Actions and Legal Institutions in the Face of Domestic Violence
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Abstract

Over the last two decades, the discourse on domestic violence has steadily moved into the legal/institutional domain. Originating in the debates within the women's movements on structural inequalities in the family, where women's struggles had a certain centrality, it has become a legal/governmental category. Emblematic of most feminist initiatives about women's lives in our country, this shift is beset with its own dilemmas and impasses. While naming, categorising, enumerating and measuring violence as well as efforts to make them legally recognisable are imperative to any feminist politics, they also generate their own effects. These effects, while resulting in some well-needed institutional solutions, also bring in their wake, certain conceptual rigidities. There is a need to pay attention to these effects while rethinking the familiar demands in the arena of domestic violence: foolproof laws, sensitive institutions and better awareness among women.

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