This study seeks to understand the relationship between the status of women, the presence of sexual violence, and the backlash effect. Specifically, this study questions whether societal backlash occurs in the form of increased sexual violence as a result of an improvement in the status of women. I hypothesize that the status of women influences the presence of sexual violence conditional on time in which women have gained rights or pushed for more rights. I use a longitudinal case study approach to analyze the relationship between the status of women and sexual violence during and after conflict in South Africa. This Independent Study finds probable linkage between the status of women and sexual violence because of the backlash from society.


Leiby, Michele


Political Science


Comparative Politics | Political Science | Social and Behavioral Sciences


Sexual Violence, Status of Women, South Africa, Legal Rights, Political Rights, Social Norms, Economic Rights, Backlash Effect

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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