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Year: 2010 Type: Article Language: English

Jerker Edström argues that common interpretations of vulnerability in gender and development discourse, policy and practice tend to reinforce essentialisms about men and women. These interpretations compromise our ability to think clearly about the structural influences on HIV and sexual health, as well as its relations to gender inequity and women’s empowerment. He examines some predominant constructions of women in the AIDS response, based on the notion of vulnerability, and suggests how unhelpful the notion of vulnerability is to the political project of women’s empowerment in redressing inequality and injustice.

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