Violence against women and patriarchy: the case of the Western Balkans

10 April 2022


The Jean-Jaurès Foundation article analyses the link between gender-based violence and patriarchal tradition in the Western Balkans. The author points out how the "downgrading" of the female figure passes through the current legislation - the children inherit only the surname of the father and not even that of the mother - and the dominant culture - the families are organized in a strictly hierarchical way with the figure of the father as head of the family at the top. From here emerges a "culture of patriarchy" that leads, on the one hand, to a difficult identification of violence (both physical and psychological) by women, and, on the other, to a lack of legislation regarding the prevention of acts of violence, the prosecution of the aggressors and the protection of the victims.

Gender-based violence seems to be linked to the low levels of economic emancipation of women: after the fall of communism, in the process of transformation of post-communist countries. women have been penalized more by the dismantling of public services and the employment crisis, being relegated to domestic roles of care and assistance.