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Understanding Violence against Women as a Public Problem in Post-Dictatorships: A Comparative Study of Spain and Chile

Fabiola Miranda-Pérez, Anne-Claire Sanz-Gavillon

Since the end of the dictatorships in Spain and Chile, increasing importance has been placed on equality policies, in particular toward action by women’s and feminist movements, which have produced new means of analyzing the social reality. In this context, violence against women has been conceptualized as a public problem, and the fight against it has gradually transformed into one of the primary means of public action in terms of gender equality. The two states studied have dealt with this issue through a series of negotiations involving various political stakeholders, resulting in two laws that reflect two different perspectives on the phenomenon, represented by the expressions “gender violence” (violencia de género) and “intra-family violence” (violencia intrafamiliale). This article analyses the contexts that have influenced how the problem of violence against women is understood in Spain and Chile, investigates the two approaches used by these countries—“gender violence” and “intra-family violence”—and examines the impacts of these choices.