Gender Based Violence in India: missing linkages between culturally sensitive evidence based research and social policy

Stream: Considering Context: how should we adapt methodologies and intervention strategies for different jurisdictions, communities and countries?
Date: Wednesday, 11 February 2015
Time: 10.15 am – 11.45 am


Gender Based Violence remains a potent means of social control exercised on Indian women’s sexuality and mobility. GBV interventions have largely emanated from the feminist movement’s reactionary responses to instances of violent sexual assault against women. The focus has mainly been on legal improvements based on international legislative frameworks such as CEDAW. Emerging evidence suggests a discrepancy between legislation and the continued prevalence of sexual crimes. Despite their success in creating awareness of sexual violence, the feminist movement has not been able to bring about a paradigm shift in gender based violence interventions given the limitations of the criminal justice system and the multi-sectoral public health approach. Lack of culturally competent evidence based research on the prevalence of gender based violence puts a serious brake on policy thinking in the field. This paper will critique existing gender based violence interventions and need for culturally consonant interventions which take into consideration the Indian reality. First, the paper will critique existing gender based violence interventions in India based on sociological and anthropological perspectives on law; second, it will discuss emerging evidence on crimes against women in India; and third, it will conclude with reflections for a paradigm shift in favour of a comprehensive culturally sensitive public health approach for addressing gender based violence in India.


Keerty Nakray (Presenter), Associate Professor, Jindal Global Law School, NCR Delhi
Keerty Nakray is currently with Jindal Global Law School, NCR Delhi, Haryana, India. Her recent edited book titled “Gender Based Violence and Public Health: International Perspectives on Budgets and Policies” published by Routledge, London encapsulates some of the latest debates on the theoretical and empirical advances in the understanding of gender based violence as a public health issue in developing economies. She is currently undertaking community based research on gender and health policy and she maintains a keen interest in research ethics and establishing linkages between academic research and policy. Dr. Nakray holds a PhD in Sociology and Social Policy from Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland. She is currently the Book Reviews Editor of Journal of South Asian Development and she also serves on the editorial board of Journal of Gender Studies.