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Paula Moreño López

International Relations & Sociology

Year of study:


Exploring Gender-Based Violence: A Feminist Analysis of Non-Conventional Forms of Violence in Spanish and Scottish Policies


International acknowledgment of gender-based violence (GBV) has emerged relatively recently, only gaining recognition by the United Nations in 1979. Since then, sexual, reproductive, and menstrual health rights have undergone significant change and scrutiny. This project delves into perceptions and representations of non-conventional GBV, specifically focusing on structural, symbolic, and bureaucratic forms, within the context of pertinent policies in Spain and Scotland. These forms of violence are rooted in: social structures of power; the acceptance and stigmatisation of individuals based on perceived ‘nature'; and subtle forms of discrimination embedded in regulatory practices, respectively.
From a feminist standpoint, this study explores the sociopolitical landscapes of Spain and Scotland. It examines the debates around the social construction of gender and the categorisation of GBV in current academic discourse. A review of relevant sociological theorists and their contributions to structural, symbolic, and bureaucratic violence follows. Through thematic analysis, the study assesses the presence of these nuanced forms of violence in contemporary policies addressing GBV.
While progress has been made in GBV and policy development, this analysis aims to shed light on less-discussed ways in which GBV persists, impacting individuals based on their gender. This research seeks to raise awareness of subtle forms of GBV, contributing to the broader goal of reducing discrimination and promoting gender equality.


Paula Meroño López, a final year student of International Relations and Sociology at the University of Glasgow, has spent most of her life in Spain but harbours a passion for diverse countries and cultures. In 2019, she relocated to Scotland to pursue her academic journey. As a woman with a strong commitment to gender issues, Paula recalls her first encounter with free menstrual products and sexual health resources in Edinburgh, an experience that left a lasting impression. The atmosphere of openness surrounding sexual, reproductive, and menstrual health in Scotland, coupled with recent policy changes in Spain, served as inspiration for her current research. Paula aims to bring to light overlooked aspects of Gender-Based Violence within this domain, with a hope to help learn those who are willing to listen.

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