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International Relations Speaker Series #2
April 25 @ 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
A growing body of literature documents the critical factors that affect state action on violence against women. Other research considers the degree to which violence against women policies are successfully implemented once policies are on the books. Summer Forester (Carleton) brings these two bodies of literature together and seeks to understand how the policymaking process affects the implementation of violence against women policies. Using primary fieldwork data from Jordan, she explains the events and interactions that produced the 2008 Family Protection Law, arguing that the regime used its violence against women policy to signal democracy and modernity to international audiences. Domestically, however, the regime did not take a progressive stance, but instead used women’s rights as a bartering chip for support from conservative factions. As a result, activists advocating for full implementation of the law have struggled with governmental apathy and resignation because the monarchy emphasized the importance of adopting the law, not enacting the law. She explains how the process whereby violence against women policies are adopted—not merely the final product—has a lasting impact on the utility and quality of these policies.