One Lebanese woman argued that law’s capacity to achieve social trans­ formation was fundamentally weakened by government acceptance of religious laws that regulate women’s lives and status. Nevertheless, for this woman, despite the violence done by personal status codes, law is not stripped of its constitutive potential:

One unifying thread across the five themes discussed above is that women in general regarded law as having a significant potential role in the protection of their security. Respondents demanded that law do more to protect women’s security and the security o f their families, commu­ nities and societies as a whole. By revealing their negative experiences of law’s power, however, women also demonstrated their awareness and concern that laws that do not centralise women’s security concerns are capable o f doing women further violence beyond the conflict experi­ ence. In the following section I discuss two perspectives that theorise law’s capacity to bring about social change in very different ways. Elements o f each theory could assist in developing legal approaches to security that are better adapted to meeting women’s security needs.