MA Major Research Papers

Date of Award

2021

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Program

Political Science

Abstract

Indigenous women are significantly overrepresented in homocide statistics in colonial states around the world. The term femicide is currently defined in international legal and political frameworks as ‘the killing of women and girls because of their gender.’ This definition, while seemingly straightforward, is limited by its racelessness and by the way colonial logic constructs gender. By deconstructing colonial logic, it becomes evident that the gender binary itself, is a colonial attempt to dehumanize the group which it terms ‘Indigenous women.’ My research evaluates solutions to decolonizing ‘femicide’ in international frameworks through an extensive literature review of decolonial feminist scholarship. The only solution to observing femicide clearly, is to deconstruct the category based logic of colonial modernity. In seeing beyond what is accepted as common sense, it becomes clear that coloniality manifested through race, gender, class, and space work congruously to construct the frame that sees Indigenous women as inhuman and disposable in colonial societies. Therein, deconstructing the concept of femicide in international legal and political frameworks is integral to better addressing the violence experienced by Indigenous women.

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