Passing "the message" in Cape Verde - A minor field study of domestic violence against women in Cape Verde.

University essay from Lunds universitet/Socialhögskolan

Abstract: Today Cape Verde is considered a good example and at the forefront in prosperity development compared to other Sub-Saharan African countries, and since Cape Verde recently made stricter legislation in gender based violence, the aim of this study has been to analyze why reports of domestic violence against women in Cape Verde have increased. I have done research in three key areas: local environment, organizational and institutional work, cultural values and social norms. At the local environment I conducted six interviews in Sal Island, followed by 12 interviews with staff at organizations and institutions in Sal Island and Santiago Island. To analyze my gathered data I have used Max Weber’s power theory and the radical feminist theory. Results demonstrate that the growths in reported cases are particularly depending by the increasing possibilities and promotion of reporting these types of crimes. But the recently updated gender based violence law also gives impacts to the increasing of the reported cases, according to the informants. It appears as communities in Cape Verde are patriarchal where men are possessing power in both families and at work. This study also highlights how organizations are working with religious leaders to prevent women remaining powerless or becoming stigmatized. This report also points out organizational obstacles such as communication problems between the institutions, and that adequate teachers and leaders lack in spreading the message that gender based violence is wrong and illegal acts. The results also show that organizations, institutions and globalization processes contribute to the strengthening of women’s independence. The downside, however, shows that this creates conflicts because promoting women’s independence battles against cultural values of Cape Verde. Moreover, the results demonstrate that social norms such as heavy drinking and infidelity are accepted, but it triggers the domestic violence against women.

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