The international community considers South Africa a regional bastion of democratic, economic and social rebirth. Yet rates of violence against women in South Africa remain endemically high. This paper examines the diffusion of norms of nonviolence and gender equality from the international community into South African law and society and the subsequent feedback of those norms, to measure South Africa’s compliance with international human rights standards. Institutions and social processes are modeled at three levels: macro (international), meso (national) and micro (community/individual). The model highlights six ways in which norms are weakened or blocked: accessibility, apparent compliance, institutional weakness, divergent priorities, silencing and norm violation fatigue. Each of these is examined in turn.
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Gregg, Melissa Rossann, An Incomplete Transition? Explaining the Ongoing Prevalence of Violence against Women in Post-Apartheid South Africa, Simons Papers in Security and Development, No. 35/2014, School for International Studies, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, June 2014.
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