The Role of Women’s Movements in the Implementation of Gender-Based Violence Laws

Nana Akua Anyidoho, Gordon Crawford, Peace Medie

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)
    90 Downloads (Pure)


    The question of whether social movements can catalyze change has preoccupied researchers but an understanding of how such change can be created is equally important. Specifically, there has been little investigation of how women's movements engage in the process of implementation of women's rights laws. We use a case study of Ghana's Domestic Violence Coalition to examine the challenges that movements face in the policy implementation process. The Domestic Violence Coalition, a collective of women's rights organizations, was instrumental to the passage of Ghana's Domestic Violence Act in 2007. Our study investigates the coalition's subsequent attempts to influence the act's implementation. Drawing from the social movement literature, we apply an analytical framework consisting of three internal factors (strategies, movement infrastructure, and framing) and two external factors (political context and support of allies) that have mediated the coalition's impact on implementation. We find that changes in movement infrastructure are most significant in explaining the coalition's relative ineffectiveness, as these changes adversely affect its ability to employ effective strategies and take advantage of a conducive political context and the presence of allies. This article advances the literature on rights advocacy by women's movements by analyzing the challenge of translating success in policy adoption to implementation and explaining why women's movements may have less impact on implementation processes.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)427-453
    Number of pages27
    JournalPolitics & Gender
    Issue number3
    Early online date8 Jan 2020
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2021


    Copyright © and Moral Rights are retained by the author(s) and/ or other copyright owners. A copy can be downloaded for personal non-commercial research or study, without prior permission or charge. This item cannot be reproduced or quoted extensively from without first obtaining permission in writing from the copyright holder(s). The content must not be changed in any way or sold commercially in any format or medium without the formal permission of the copyright holders.


    • Domestic violence
    • Ghana
    • Implementation
    • Social movements

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Gender Studies
    • Sociology and Political Science


    Dive into the research topics of 'The Role of Women’s Movements in the Implementation of Gender-Based Violence Laws'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this