Chapter 4: Understanding Femicide Using a Global Social Ecological Model

Routledge International Handbook on Femicide

Book Publication


Violence against women, and its most extreme form, femicide, is a global issue, influenced by global trends and patterns. Femicide in Indigenous communities, South Africa and Latin America has reached international attention through globalised women’s movements and the power of social media. Incidents of mass killings also often make the media, yet rarely does this coverage acknowledge that most mass shootings are related to intimate partner violence, and many are driven by misogynistic ideologies. Missing and murdered Indigenous women, and gender-related mass killings, comprise two case studies presented in this chapter to explore the linkages and relations among globalised phenomena and femicide. Arguably the most commonly used model for understanding violence against women, including femicide, is the integrated ecological model, which proposes that violence is influenced by factors operating at four levels: individual, family/relationship, community, and societal or structural. However, most of the risk factors identified in the integrated ecological model are related to intimate partner violence and are mostly at the individual or family levels. We have significantly less literature on other factors that may more often drive the murders of Indigenous women and gender-related mass killings, such as structural or global drivers of that violence. This chapter tries to fill that gap. Building upon Fulu & Miedema (2015), which proposes globalising the integrated ecological model for VAW, this chapter explores structural elements and their impacts on femicide including social movements, colonisation, capitalism, extremism, and backlash.




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