• Transforming State Responses to Feminicide: Women’s Movements, Law and Criminal Justice Institutions in Brazil

      Macaulay, Fiona (Emerald Press, 2021-01)
      Global concern about feminicide -- the killing of girls or women for reasons related to gender roles – started in Latin America with the epidemic of sexualised murders and disappearances in Central America and Mexico. There, the killers walked free due to state indifference and an incompetent criminal justice system. But this book tells a more positive story from the region. Brazil has high numbers of feminicides, mostly committed by intimate partners. Yet, the state’s responses to this crime have been transformed in recent years. This is the first country study to examine in detail how strategic action by the women’s movement has resulted in significant improvements in the investigation, prosecution and prevention of domestic violence and of feminicide. This study traces the interaction between the main contributory factors to that transformation. Innovation and capacity-building in the criminal justice system has been driven by the development of norms and protocols at the inter-American level, by changes in Brazilian law and jurisprudence, and by policy entrepreneurs within the police and justice sector. Executive branch investment since the early 2000s in tackling gender-based violence created a propitious political environment. Coalitions of interest involving feminist academics, NGOs, local campaigners, bureaucrats within the state machineries for women, politicians, journalists, and criminal justice professionals were able to identify, create and use institutional spaces for change and diffuse good practices.