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Istratii, Romina (2019) Does the theoretical language of SDG 5 hinder understanding and addressing intimate partner violence cross-culturally? Some epistemological concerns and empirical insights from a religious society of Ethiopia. In: Keeping Faith in 2030: Religions and the Sustainable Development Goals, 12-13 February 2019, SOAS University of London. (Unpublished)

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Overcoming intimate partner violence (IPV) is an important component of the Sustainable Goal 5 dedicated to the improvement of gender equality globally. Historically, the field of gender and development has emphasised cultural, social constructionist and feminist theorisations and aetiologies of IPV, which have consistently universalised gender hierarchies and appraised cultural or institutional parameters (including institutionalized religious traditions) as loci of female subordination contributing to women’s abuse. In recent years, this scholarship has enlarged to integrate more anthropological insights, has paid more attention to male perpetrators and has appraised religious parameters in more nuanced ways, but the fundamental premises that violence affecting women has gendered motivations and that a subversion of the status quo is necessary to alleviate the problem persist. This paper will draw attention to the epistemological implications of preconceiving IPV as gendered violence and will discuss the limitations of employing this analytical construct to understand and to address the problem in its cross-cultural manifestations. The paper will first trace current theorisations of gender to western metaphysics, and demonstrate how these have underpinned conceptualisations of IPV in the international development sector, limiting a more nuanced understanding of the problem through local conceptual repertoires. It will draw insights from a study of conjugal abuse in an Orthodox society of Ethiopia to evidence the practical implications for cross-cultural development. This study integrated a theology-informed analysis of relevant Church teachings with an ethnographic exploration of local metaphysics of subjectivity, gender relations and religious experience within marriage. Key insights challenge the theoretical language of SDG 5 and weaken understandings that more gender egalitarian relations can suffice to change local pernicious attitudes and to alleviate the problem.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Items (Paper)
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of Development Studies
Departments and Subunits > School of History, Religions & Philosophies
Copyright Statement: Copyright belongs to the author.
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2019 07:03
Related URLs: https://www.soa ... ment-goals.html (Organisation URL)
Funders: Other

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