Breaking the mold: Understanding gender and electoral violence

Report / White Paper

June 7, 2019

Breaking the mold: Understanding gender and electoral violence


Women around the world are playing increasingly visible roles in the political processes of their countries as voters, candidates, representatives, protesters, journalists and as civic educators in the home, the community and beyond. However, as emerging democracies struggle to consolidate, overcome violent pasts and address crippling poverty, they often falter and breed disillusionment. Religious and ethnic divisions may appear or intensify. In these complex contexts, electoral violence threatens – or beckons – women in new ways.

In Breaking the Mold: Understanding Gender and Electoral Violence, IFES introduces the concept of gendered electoral violence in transitional democracies and presents a new framework which accounts for all forms of public and private violence committed by and against women. Where current frameworks fail to fully take women into account by neglecting or stereotyping gender-specific forms of violence, IFES’ new framework draws on research in domestic violence and feminist security studies to expand our understanding of types of violence and victim and perpetrator roles. This framework can help ensure that practitioners meet short and long-term needs, such as the protection and education of women candidates and voters in the short term, and better documentation and therefore responses to gendered electoral violence in the long-term.

Click here to see the white paper.

Resource type: 
Gabrielle Bardall
Publication year: 
December 2011
Focus areas: