Domestic Violence in Asia

Globalization, Gender and Islam in the Maldives

By Emma Fulu

© 2014 – Routledge

174 pages | 1 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:
Hardback: 9780415673976
pub: 2013-08-22
US Dollars$160.00

About the Book

This book explores changing patterns of domestic violence in Asia. Based on extensive original research in the Maldives, it argues that forces of globalisation, consumerism, Islamism and democratisation are changing the nature of domestic relations, with shifting ideas surrounding gender and Islam being particularly significant. The book points out that domestic violence has been relatively low in the Maldives in comparison with other Asian countries, as a result of, the book argues, a history of relatively equal gender relations, an ideology of masculinity that is associated with calmness and rationality where violence is not considered an acceptable means of dealing with problems, and flexible marriage and divorce practices. The book shows how these factors are being undermined by new ideas which emphasise the need for wifely obedience, increasing gender inequality and the right of husbands to be coercive.


"Fulu’s analysis of a multi-faceted process of change and its impact on domestic violence is thorough and sensitive. She links individual-level risk factors for violence to changes that are imposed from the outside, via processes of globalization, and from within, as economic development increases income inequality and social tension. Particularly refreshing is that in providing a rich account of a peaceful Islamic society, Fulu’s work offers a corrective to popular ideas of Islam as necessarily damaging the cause of women’s rights. Although intended for an audience of academics and policy makers, Domestic Violence in Asia is accessible also to students interested in gender and development." -Nehaal Bajwa, LSE Review of Books

Table of Contents

Preface: Insider / Outsider Introduction: Domestic Violence in Asia and Globalization from Below 1. Coercive Control: Patterns of intimate partner violence in the Maldives 2. The Protective Factors: Lessons for violence prevention 3. ‘A Good Wife Obeys her Husband’: The changing nature of the family 4. ‘For the Love of Women’: Increasing gender inequality 5. A Social Crisis in the Maldives Conclusion: Creating peace cultures: The way forward

About the Author

Emma Fulu completed her doctorate at the University of Melbourne, Australia.

About the Series

ASAA Women in Asia Series

The primary aim of this important series is to publish original, high quality work on all aspects of women in Asia. Submissions are welcomed from prospective authors, both new and established scholars, working in any appropriate discipline, and should in the first instance be sent to the series editor. Email:

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General