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Year: 2008 Type: Article Language: English

The paper explores the increasing inter-connectivity of the economic and religious ‘right’ through consideration of recent events in Nicaragua. It examines the policy discourse of the state and the international development banks though consideration of a Conditional Cash Transfer programme and highlights how this draws on notions of family and family values, notions more generally promoted by the Church. It suggests that those that seek to resist the actions of these three actors face a difficult challenge, not least since their own counter-actions continue to be largely un-connected. The discussion highlights how on the one hand women’s movements have tended to focus on the threats to sexual and reproductive rights from neo-conservative forces, while on the other, those that work with women’s groups at the community level have tended to respond to the real economic need of the women that result from neo-liberal policies. While the links within the women’s movements, between actors and actions, are not drawn the ability to resist encroachments on women’s sexual, reproductive and economic rights now is lessened. Moreover, not recognising the rights issues related to economic deprivation may reduce the chances for collective action in the future as young women may become isolated and disillusioned with an unresponsive women’s movement.