On Violence as a Feminist Problem

Campbell, Kirsten. 2022. On Violence as a Feminist Problem. In: Zilka Spahić Šiljak; Jasna Kovačević and Jasmina Husanović, eds. Uprkos strahu i tišini: univerziteti protiv rodno zasnovanog nasilja. Sarajevo: University of Sarajevo/TPO Foundation, pp. 31-40. ISBN 9789958600845 [Book Section]

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Abstract or Description

In her recent analysis of the persistence of patriarchy in contemporary social life, Cynthia Enloe (2017) describes her experience of fighting against sexual harassment at her university in the 1970s. As Enloe describes, the women’s movement named and politicised this then ‘unfamiliar form of power abuse’. For Enloe, this experience revealed the value of generating accurate conceptualisations for effective political action, and was crucial for developing her analysis of gendered violence from war to peace. At the same time, she and her feminist colleagues grappled with the challenge of how to conceptualise this ‘sexualised abuse’. The questions they confronted, she remarks, will still seem familiar to us today.

As Enloe suggests, feminists have named and politicised sexual and gender-based violence, but still confront important conceptual and political questions about these forms of violence. This paper reflects on current feminist knowledges of gender-based violence. It first outlines key feminist approaches to sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), and then considers their resources and limitations for building ‘accurate conceptualisations for effective action’ against these continuing forms of patriarchal violence (Enloe, 2017, p. 127).

Item Type:

Book Section


Sexual and gender-based violence, violence against women and girls, feminist theory and practice, feminist knowledge

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Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Sociology > Unit for Global Justice (UGJ)
Sociology > Unit for Global Justice (UGJ) > Gender of Justice


31 December 2022Published

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Date Deposited:

20 Feb 2023 10:17

Last Modified:

20 Feb 2023 10:17



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