The Making of South Africa’s Sexual Offences Act (2007): Structure and Agency in a Women's Rights Coalition
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How do women’s rights groups campaign for institutional change to reform archaic rape laws in transitional democracies? This article presents the findings from a case study of a coalition of women’s rights and legal advocacy organisations in South Africa, the National Working Group on Sexual Offences, established to campaign for progressive institutional change to national laws and policies on rape. It examines the opportunities provided by the shifting political and structural arrangements of transitional democracies for promoting sustainable social change, and describes the constraints faced by civil society coalitions within these contexts. This article describes the factors that facilitate the emergence of developmental coalitions and determine or impede their success. It concludes with a description of the substantive achievements and successes of the coalition.