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Title:Reasonable Men and Provocative Women: An Analysis of Gendered Domestic Homicide in Zambia
Author:Rude, Darlene
Periodical:Journal of Southern African Studies
Geographic term:Zambia
Law, Human Rights and Violence
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Women's Issues
Law, Legal Issues, and Human Rights
Cultural Roles
Marital Relations and Nuptiality
Sex Roles
Abstract:This article is based on 150 cases of killings and alleged killings of women and girls by intimate partners and male family members in Zambia from 1973 to 1996. The cases were documented by the Young Women's Christian Association (YMCA) of Zambia for a research and advocacy project known as 'The Femicide Register'. The article describes the characteristics of the female victims and the alleged perpetrators, the location of the cases and the weapons used. Suspected adultery appears to be a leading 'motive' of the killings. Newspaper accounts describe the cases simply as 'domestic disputes'; they create a secondary level of silence about domestic violence by blaming the victims and concealing the brutality of the attacks. Comments by these judiciary, as reported in the press, reflect certain attitudes about gender roles and appropriate behaviour. The women are judged to have 'provoked' their perpetrators, whose violent reactioms are all too often seen as inevitable and understandable. Ref., sum.