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Professor Fiona Macaulay

Gender-based violence and human rights abuses in Brazil: how to get reluctant institutions to change

Fiona Macaulay, Professor in Peace Studies

Brazil has one of the highest murder rates in the world. It also has one of the largest prison populations, subject to many human rights abuses. And, there are very high levels of gender-based violence. How is it possible to pressure and change the state institutions responsible either for gross human rights violations, for impunity, or for omission in protecting citizens from abuse and violence? How does sustainable institutional change occur? And how has the Bolsonaro government shaped these dynamics?

In this inaugural lecture, Professor Fiona Macaulay reflected on three decades of collaborating with human rights groups, women's organisations, policy-makers and, increasingly, changemakers working on the frontline within the criminal justice system. She talked about her work on prison reform, on researching how feminicide is now being tackling effectively now, and how she designed and delivered a training programme to improve police responses to gender-based violence.

You can watch the recording of the lecture on our YouTube channel.