Page Range: VII-XI
ISSN: 1451-2203 (Print)
ISSN: 2620-181X (Online)
Publisher: Center for Gender and Politics and Center for Cultural Studies, Faculty of Political Science, University of Belgrade
Imprint: Download as pdf
TOPIC OF THE ISSUE: VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN – PROGRESS AND CHALLENGES IN ACHIEVING THE STANDARDS OF THE ISTANBUL CONVENTION
Page Range: VII-XI
Summary / Abstract: The Istanbul Convention entered into force in June 2015 in the Republic of Slovenia. From the point of view of policy analysis and NGO activism, the processes of signing and ratification were exciting. We were confronted with stereotypical personal standings and ignorance of some ministers and bureaucrats but also with a high level of understanding of the problem of violence against women, commitment to human rights, instruments for their implementation, and even activism of other ministers, bureaucrats, parliamentarians, city administration bureaucrats. They cooperated with (women’s) NGOs and mobilized the general public – from athletes, singers, and actors to “ordinary” people. In the end, public pressure and expertise were decisive for the Convention to be ratified.
With the adoption of the Domestic Violence Prevention Act in 2008, Slovenia began to build a system where we observe development towards a proactive approach with active intervention and exchange of information among institutions. Though it has made significant progress in the last few years, Slovenia still has a long way to go. From solving the problem of domestic violence staying underreported to victims’ trust in institutions, knowledge and lack of train ing of professionals at institutions, non-establishment of multidisciplinary teams, treating ‘less severe’ forms of violence as a misdemeanour, etc. Violence against women is fused with domestic violence and is part of this system. Understanding and naming violence against women as a cause and consequence of gender inequality, therefore, remains silenced.
Keywords: Slovenia, Istanbul Convention, GREVIO, violence against women, domestic violence, gender inequality, social service, multidisciplinary teams, multi-agency cooperation, police
Page Range: 1-27
Summary / Abstract: The article focuses on secondary victimization in Italy, showing that judges, lawyers, and court-appointed experts handling cases of gender-based violence against women are often not specialized in the issue, consequently causing secondary victimization episodes. Indeed, they rely on sexist stereotypes, such as “the perfect victim” one. This tends to question the reliability of victims’ declarations, minimizing domestic violence as couple conflict, restraining from issuing precautionary measures and investigating the intimate life of the victims of sexual violence. Moreover, women are considered children’s manipulators through references to the PAS, while the victim-centered approach has a number of flaws, such as victim-partner meetings being organized without an appropriate risk assessment and the fact that achieving civil remedies and claiming compensation is complicated.
The text examines secondary victimization through references to the 2020 GREVIO report, the 2018 Italian women’s NGOs report and two reports of the Italian Parliamentary Inquiry Committee on Feminicide. After an analysis of the progress and the criticalities of the Italian policies focused on secondary victimization, the lack of education on gender-based violence against women of judges, lawyers, and court-appointed experts’ is studied. Then, these professionals’ actions leading to secondary victimization are discussed, also referring to emblematic European Court of Human Rights judgments.
Keywords: Italy, secondary victimization, education, judiciary, gender-based violence against women, stereotypes
Page Range: 29-55
Summary / Abstract: This paper links the Theory of Communicative Action and the Istanbul Convention to scrutinize the rationality behind this human rights treaty. It analyzes whether arguing could occur within the Istanbul Convention and whether it provides the framework conditions for argumentative rationality. It finds that the Istanbul Convention has the potential for arguing, which it needs as it does not have any power to enforce the provisions outlined in the Convention nor to sanction dissent. For ratifying state parties, the Istanbul Convention does provide a framework for argumentative rationality by compromising a common lifeworld, the inclusion of the public sphere, and resembling an ideal speech situation. Furthermore, the Theory of Communicative Action also explains dissent in the form of non-ratification of or withdrawal from the Convention. Considering some Council of Europe member states’ ideological backlash to the Convention, this paper finds that these countries are not part of the common lifeworld that equates human rights with women’s human rights.
Keywords: Istanbul Convention, Council of Europe, human rights, communicative action
Page Range: 57-78
STUDIES AND ARTICLES
Summary / Abstract: Between the two world wars, women associated with the Society for Women’s Emancipation and Protection of Their Rights (later the Alliance of Women’s Movements) actively participated in pacifist organisations such as The League of Nations, The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom and The Little Entente of Women. Pacifism was one of the most critical topics in the Women’s Movement journal (1920–1938), Society’s herald, especially since the end of the 1920s when it was gradually becoming clear that the world was heading for a new war. The journal was following and reporting on activities and achievements of pacifist organisations.
Pacifism was generally perceived as an “innate” field of women’s activism In the Women’s Movement journal. If women got the right to vote, feminists thought, there would be no more wars because women would always vote for politics of peace. The claim that women were against war was usually based on female attributes traditionally related to maternity, such as care, empathy, patience, and nonviolence. This paper focuses on views expressed in the journal about mothers’ role in building a non-conflict society and preserving world peace. Mothers were seen as educators of future generations who rebuild nations. Since they lost husbands and sons in wars, they were expected to oppose it. Although less often, such points of view are problem atised in the journal, the paper will also discuss that.
Keywords: motherhood, pacifism, feminism, periodical studies, peace studies, the interwar period
Page Range: 81-100
Summary / Abstract: This essay analyses the social practices in the fictive republic of Gilead in Margaret Atwood’s novel The Handmaid’s Tale. I introduce the sociopolitical context in which this novel is written, as well as real-life events that inspired the established theocracy in Gilead. The focal points of this essay are the mechanisms and strategies by which the Gileadeans, mainly women, are controlled. I analyse the social factors that further sustain the limited political power of women, mainly the gynocentric misogyny, as well as methods of establishing and maintaining discipline. I used Michel Foucault’s Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison to analyse superior vs inferior social dynamics. Through further study of the methods of establishing dominance, it is clear that the control of appearance, language, space, and time is crucial to instrumentalising female bodies to serve the patriarchy and support Christian fundamentalism. The sisterhoods play different roles in perpetuating this establishment, but every sisterhood is limited in its social functions. One of the main topics of this essay is how women who belong to a certain sisterhood are forced to oblige by their expected social functions, thereby serving the government and sacrificing not only their political rights but the fundamental right to a dignified life for every woman individually.
Keywords: Margaret Atwood, Handmaid’s Tale, solidarity, gynocentric misogyny, dystopia
Page Range: 101-126
Summary / Abstract: The paper provides a polemical review of the two books published within the framework of the newly launched edition of Graditeljke (The Women Builders), initiated by the editor Tatjana Janković as part of the publishing activities of the “Vuk Karadžić” National Library in Kragujevac. Both editions, as well as the circumstances of their publication, are more than relevant in the context of feminist history and the history of feminism in today’s Serbia and former Yugoslavia. These are the following editions: Katarina Bogdanović. 2021. To Talk about New York, ed. by Tatjana Janković, Kragujevac: “Vuk Karadžić” National Library; Selena Dukić. 2022. Yarn. Stories, Travel Reports and Journalistic Articles, ed. by Tatjana Janković, Kragujevac: “Vuk Karadžić” National Library. The first publication is placed in the context of relevant existing research since it functions as a kind of appendix to the already conducted re-constructions of the biography and bibliography of Katarina Bogdanović, which are also briefly outlined in this paper. On the other hand, the pioneering publication of a large part of the oeuvre of Selena Dukić, one of the most talented and inventive Serbian writers who has been largely marginalised so far, is seen as a significant and stimulating contribution not only to the re-construction of the traditionally suppressed history of women’s authorship but also to the current problematisation of the literary field, editorship issue, gender-coded editorial authority and habitus, from a feminist perspective. The present author points to the courage and far-reaching initiatives of women intellectuals such as Katarina Bogdanović, Selena Dukić, Ksenija Atanasijević, insisting on the importance of feminist perspective but also offering directions of its possible deepening and modifications. In this respect, the paper contributes to contemporary (feminist) periodical studies, studies of (women’s) authorship, and intellectual history in general.
Keywords: Katarina Bogdanović, Selena Dukić, The Women Builders, literary field, feminism, intellectual history, women’s authorship, periodical studies
Page Range: 127-139
Summary / Abstract: The main subject of inquiry is the everyday life of freelancers from Serbia who work on marketplace platforms. The research aimed to describe and explain the conditions and characteristics of platforms like Upwork, Freelance.com, and Fiverr. The question paper pose is how platforms shape everyday life. The paper shows us three main categories to help us think about and research platform work. First, how platforms are structured contributes to the commodification of the self. Freelancers must work on creating a digital self and new behaviour patterns. Secondly, the marketplace platforms can be understood through private and public divisions. Lastly, the everyday life of platform workers is shaped by the relationship between the global and local labour marketplace. Furthermore, the everyday life of platform work is shaped by the neoliberalization of the global labour marketplace and local context.
Keywords: platform work, commodification of self, private/public, global/local, race to the bottom
Page Range: 141-166
Page Range: 169-173
Page Range: 175-182
Page Range: 183-188