Populate the side area with widgets, images, navigation links and whatever else comes to your mind.
18 Northumberland Avenue, London, UK
(+44) 871.075.0336
Follow us

Follow Us Sophia, Belgisch Netwerk voor Genderstudies

+32 (0)2 229 38 69

Middaglijnstraat 10, 1210 Brussels


Cities, violence and gender: findings and concepts of the 21st century

While cities offer the possibility of encounters and disagreements, departures and arrivals, cultural flourishing and the affirmation of citizenship, they also bring the concentration of resources and their disparities. In this context, the emergence of citizenship has essentially served to mitigate the class divisions generated by the market: it is in the extension of citizenship, from the civil to the political domain, that cities have brought about a change in the pattern of social inequality and helped to make the modern societies relatively peaceful. If peace can be identified with social integration, violence, its antonym, expresses the strong presence of phenomena of social disintegration. The possibility of a certain society building an effective peace process increases in proportion to its capacity to identify the violent character of certain social institutions and practices that has hitherto lain dormant. Therefore, there is a latent need to make violence visible and recognize conflicts where they exist. Cities are also spaces for the struggle of difference and the negotiation of conflicts. It is up to social scientists to understand the structural causes that determine the future of spaces and their inhabitants, their daily life, and their experiences.

The city has always been a laboratory in which society experiences the dramas and challenges of its cohesion and experiences ways to overcome the threats to its sustainable continuation. In recent decades different types of violence, which until then had been submerged, have become visible, changing the conceptual universe of violence. Until then subordinate groups, such as women and ethnic minorities, managed to raise their discontent with their subordinate place in contemporary societies in the wider public domain. The social actions of groups concerned with gender violence or violence triggered against ethnic differences contributed to the idea that the visibility of violence is becoming a significant concept.

In society in general, and regardless of their location in the social pyramid, women are the main victims of different types of violence (domestic, structural or institutional). According to the “Progress of the world´s women 2019-2020” report, published by UN Women in 2019, gender violence affects 1 in 5 women worldwide. In the peripheries, this percentage is accentuated due to the greater gender inequality, economic differences and racism. These inequalities predominantly affect ethnic minority communities and low-income populations, creating further obstacles to the autonomy of women living in these territories and under these conditions.

The objective of this research topic is to gather scientific and multidisciplinary contributions that address themes of violence and gender from the field of Social and Human Sciences. We are particularly interested in research that contemplate both the ethnic diversity present in the West and the intersection between different social forces, class, ethnicity, and culture.

We welcome papers that will provide both theoretical and/or empirical findings. Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

• gender-based violence, including psychological, domestic, urban and rural violence, sexual and reproductive violence, human trafficking and forced marriage;

• public policies and legislation relevant to combating violence against women (laws and policies against femicide, domestic violence, mutilation and abortion);

• innovative theories and methodologies that make it possible to critically address problems surrounding violence against women;

• educational policies and laws on sexuality: teacher training, teaching materials, curricular spaces, gender perspective and extension of rights;

• social movements (feminists, women, human rights organizations) and their role in public debate and in the implementation of laws and policies in defense of women’s rights, including web-based activism and social media (e.g. the #MeToo and #NiUnaMenos).