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BOOK REVIEW


Murder of Women and Human Rights by Eva Alterman BlayAssassinato de Mulheres e Direitos Humanos (Murder of Women and Human Rights) by Eva Alterman Blay* (in Portuguese, Editora 34, 2008_

How can one explain the fact that, despite the progress in the fight for gender equality, there has been an increase in the number of women murdered in Brazil in the last decades?

Based on accurate research of media, police reports, and criminal processes -- along with her theoretical background and solid history of commitment to women's causes, Dr. Eva Alterman Blay has brought us a work that is by no means a cold survey. On the contrary, it tries to understand the history behind every case, giving body to its characters and examining the relations between victims and aggressors, their families’ environment, the way violence establishes and perpetuates itself even beyond the private sphere, and how it reflects and is nourished by hegemonic ideology.

Furthermore, it examines a series of cases to show that, in spite of the efforts of many of its sectors, Brazilian justice is still far too soft and slow when crimes against women are concerned. It also demonstrates the continuing presence  of old ideological judicial fallacies -- such as "legitimate defense of honor" -- which historically has given Brazilian men the right to invalidate women's right to life.

This book by Dr. Blay, a member of the Advisory Board of Remember the Women Institute, is a valuable reference work for dealing with the problem of violence against women and violence in general, for public policy managers, researchers and anyone interested in taking part in the urgent need to overcome this situation.

*Eva Alterman Blay is a Remember the Women Institute Advisory Board member

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The Remember the Women Institute welcomes reviews of books pertaining to women and history for our on-line library. Please contact Dr. Rochelle G. Saidel with your inquiries.

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