Displaying all 9 items
  • Archive Resource

    Abortion And Human Rights: Examples From Latin America, IDS Bulletin, 39.3

    Human Rights Watch’s experience, in particular in Latin America, has reaffirmed that women’s ability to decide if, when, how often, and with whom to have children is fundamental to their ability to make independent decisions about work, education and family life. Restrictions imposed on access to safe and legal abortion, in addition to other sexual and reproductive health services, violate women’s rights to health, to non-discrimination and equal treatment, to privacy, to be free of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, and the right to the benefits of scientific progress, among others. This article draws links between abortion and human rights while illustrating the scope for advocacy in the varying abortion contexts in Mexico, Nicaragua and Peru. The authors explore entry points for activism and change as they highlight regional commonalities and contextual differences with respect to abortion. …

  • Archive Resource

    Laughter, The Subversive Body Organ

    Ana Francis Mor describes how laughter, brought on by cabaret theatre in health workshops in Mexico, was key to changing people, not just their minds, but their hearts and their bodies and what they do with them. Mor describes how women learn gender ideologies from the television soap operas, all-pervasive in Mexico, which take their cue from Catholicism. Mor describes trainings on health run in rural Mexico for women, men and children. The three year programme trained over 30,000 people in total, in four day-long trainings that included participants first identifying key health issues in small groups, and a cabaret theatre working on these issues in the afternoon, and performing them in the evening. …

  • Archive Resource

    Liberal Vs. Liberating Empowerment: A Latin American Feminist Perspective On Conceptualising Women's Empowerment

    In this paper Cecilia Sardenberg argues that, despite the great diversity in the uses of the term ‘empowerment’, it is possible to distinguish two basic approaches in conceptualising women’s empowerment. The first, identified here as ‘liberal empowerment’, regards women’s empowerment as an instrument for development priorities, be they the eradication of poverty or the building of democracy. Consistent with liberal ideals, the focus in this approach is on individual growth, but in an atomistic perspective on the notion of the rational action of social actors based on individual interests. Moreover, it de-politicizes the process of empowerment by taking ‘power’ out of the equation. …

  • Archive Resource

    Quotas: A Pathway Of Political Empowerment?

    Over the last 20 years, the problem of low levels of representation of women in political office has been mobilising women, and especially feminists, throughout the world. The adoption of quotas has become a much-used tool to address the challenge of increasing women's political representation, and as a route to enhancing women's political empowerment. In Latin America, many countries have adopted quota systems, but with widely varying effects. This article takes stock of Latin American experience and asks to what extent quota systems have served as a pathway of women into politics. …

  • Archive Resource

    Unsafe Abortion: A Development Issue, IDS Bulletin 39.3

    Abortion has become an ever more controversial issue, provoking strong reactions both ‘for’ and ‘against’. Language used in disputes over whether or not women should have access to safe and legal abortion indicates just how polarised debates have become: pro-choice versus pro-life; pro-abortion versus anti-choice. As the anti-abortion agenda has become coupled with other conservative agendas, such as ‘pro-abstinence’, ‘pro-chastity’ and ‘anti-contraception’, an increasingly assertive movement has evolved. The extension of these conservative forces to parts of the world where thousands of women die every year because they were unable to access safe abortion and protect themselves from HIV infection, has turned this polarized dispute into an urgent development issue. …

  • Research Project

    Negotiating Empowerment. IDS Bulletin 41.2

    This bulletin is devoted to exploring what empowerment means in the everyday lives of women in different situations and circumstances. …

  • Research Project

    Reclaiming Feminism: Gender and Neoliberalism. IDS Bulletin 39.6

    This bulletin arises from a conference of the same title that was held at the Institute of Development Studies in July 2007 in collaboration with Birkbeck College. It sets out to provoke reflection on the now ubiquitous notions of 'empowerment' and 'agency' within neoliberal development discourses on gender. It also seeks to raise broader questions about the politics and political economy of Gender and Development. …

  • Research Project

    Unsafe Abortion IDS Bulletin 39.3

    This bulletin highlights the profound inequities of access both globally and nationally to safe abortion, and the importance of global and national movements for reform to address this. Contributions focus in particular on policy reform and what can be learned from struggles in different parts of the world to obtain or retain safe abortion services. …

  • Research Project

    Women, Sexuality and The Political Power of Pleasure

    This book explores the ways in which positive, pleasure-focused approaches to sexuality can empower women. Gender and development has tended to engage with sexuality only in relation to violence and ill-health. Although this has been hugely important in challenging violence against women, over-emphasising these negative aspects has dovetailed with conservative ideologies that associate women’s sexualities with danger and fear. On the other hand, the media, the pharmaceutical industry, and pornography more broadly celebrate the pleasures of sex in ways that can be just as oppressive, often implying that only certain types of people - young, heterosexual, able-bodied, HIV-negative - are eligible for sexual pleasure. …