Carrigan presents research on Latin American femicide legislation at law conference

June 06, 2018

Drawing on Carol Bacchi’s ‘What’s the Problem Represented to be’ Approach (WPR), CSSLRV researcher Michelle Carrigan presented at the Annual Law and Society Conference, held in Toronto this week. The theme for this year’s conference was Law at the Crossroads, fitting for the research presented because it examined recent developments in Latin American legislation and the characterization of female-specific homicides, referred to more commonly as femicide or feminicide. Carrigan, and her co-author CSSLRV Director Myrna Dawson, used the WPR approach as an analytical and methodological framework to examine how femicide has been constructed as a social problem and how these constructions have shaped responses. Their findings suggest that, while the development of femicide legislation is a notable achievement, several legislations remain limited in their characterizations of femicide. These limitations may prevent female deaths from being classified as femicide and may fail to protect women or deter this type of violence. The presentation concluded with calls for future research regarding best practices for measuring and counting femicides as well as the need for research that measures country-specific implementation of femicide legislation on the ground. Carrigan is also a second-year law student at the University of Ottawa.