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#Ni Una Menos: Policy Approaches to Gender-Based Violence in Central America


The legacies of twentieth-century state violence in Central America continue to prosper in the region’s political, cultural, economic, and social life. Today, high levels of gender-based violence and feminicide in Central American countries, especially in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras, can be traced, in part, to the historic effects of state violence. As a result, in recent decades, these countries have passed national laws to prevent, sanction, and eradicate gender-based violence. Despite legislative initiatives taken by governments, high levels of impunity in the legislative and judicial systems, hierarchical structures of gender, class, and race, heteropatriarchal national values, and corruption have obstructed progress toward a society where women can lead lives free of violence. Using the violence triangle and multisided violence theoretical frameworks, this work explores the multifaceted nature of violence in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras, focusing on structural, cultural/symbolic, direct, state, everyday, political, gender/gendered, and legal violence. Drawing from eight in-depth, semi-structured interviews and public discourse analysis, this study ultimately investigates how these different forms of violence coalesce and affect the implementation and enforcement of laws on gender-based violence that are on the books in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras.

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