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Central America

Service Is Not Servitude: Links Between Capitalism and Feminist Liberal Conceptions of Pleasure - Case Studies from Nicaragua

Citation:

Portocarrero Lacayo, Ana Victoria. 2014. “Service Is Not Servitude: Links Between Capitalism and Feminist Liberal Conceptions of Pleasure — Case Studies from Nicaragua.” International Journal of Politics, Culture, and Society 27 (2): 221–39. doi:10.1007/s10767-013-9158-3.

Author: Lacayo Portocarrero

Abstract:

This paper describes how the way in which women learn to serve others (children, the elderly, partners) influences their possibilities of accessing material and symbolic resources, which have been instrumental for the deployment of neoliberal capitalism in Nicaragua. Through the exploration of the work of two feminist organisations, La Corriente and Grupo Venancia, and of the interviews with the women they work with, I trace the direct and more subtle links between sex and neoliberal capitalism, identifiable in the discourse on sexual pleasure that these organisations use when working with women. Building on the work of scholars coming from disciplines as varied as political economy, sociology, feminist economics, gender and sexuality and postcolonial studies, I argue that while this discourse on sexual pleasure does challenge certain elements of the neoliberal capitalist system and brings positive changes to women, it also contains several risks due to its modern and individualistic imperatives, which can actually reinforce capitalist relations and inequalities. These include the risk of validating and universalising certain sexual knowledge, the risk of diminishing and depoliticising the value of service, and that of building the freedom of some women at the expense of others. The paper advocates for a review of the discourse on pleasure and the reclaiming of the concept of ‘service’ as a political stance against neoliberal capitalism

Keywords: service, pleasure, capitalism, feminism, Nicaragua

Topics: Civil Society, Feminisms, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Livelihoods, Sexual livelihoods, Political Economies, Sexuality Regions: Americas, Central America Countries: Nicaragua

Year: 2014

Reproductive Governance in Latin America

Citation:

Morgan, Lynn M., and Elizabeth F.S. Roberts. 2012. “Reproductive Governance in Latin America.” Anthropology & Medicine 19 (2): 241–54. doi:10.1080/13648470.2012.675046.

Authors: Lynn M. Morgan, Elizabeth F.S. Roberts

Abstract:

This paper develops the concept of reproductive governance as an analytic tool for tracing the shifting political rationalities of population and reproduction. As advanced here, the concept of reproductive governance refers to the mechanisms through which different historical configurations of actors – such as state, religious, and international financial institutions, NGOs, and social movements – use legislative controls, economic inducements, moral injunctions, direct coercion, and ethical incitements to produce, monitor, and control reproductive behaviours and population practices. Examples are drawn from Latin America, where reproductive governance is undergoing a dramatic transformation as public policy conversations are coalescing around new moral regimes and rights-based actors through debates about abortion, emergency contraception, sterilisation, migration, and assisted reproductive technologies. Reproductive discourses are increasingly framed through morality and contestations over ‘rights’, where rights-bearing citizens are pitted against each other in claiming reproductive, sexual, indigenous, and natural rights, as well as the ‘right to life’ of the unborn. The concept of reproductive governance can be applied to other settings in order to understand shifting political rationalities within the domain of reproduction.

Keywords: reproduction, governance, human rights, neoliberalism, Latin America

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Governance, Health, Reproductive Health, NGOs, Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Americas, Central America, South America

Year: 2012

Securing Social Difference: Militarization and Sexual Violence in an Afro-Nicaraguan Community

Citation:

Goett, Jennifer. 2015. “Securing Social Difference: Militarization and Sexual Violence in an Afro-Nicaraguan Community.” American Ethnologist 42 (3): 475–89. doi:10.1111/amet.12142.

Author: Jennifer Goett

Abstract:

Renewed violence in Nicaragua in the aftermath of the 1980s Contra War is tied to the drug trade, drug war militarization, and the rise of the postwar security state. State sexual violence in an Afro-Nicaraguan community under counternarcotics military occupation vividly demonstrates this linkage. I argue that state sexual violence in this case has served as a mechanism for asserting mestizo state sovereignty in a minoritized security zone. The forms of racial and patriarchal power that enabled the violence permeate the social body and structure political life in Nicaragua, and their diffuse nature has made it difficult for local people to find political redress for the abuses of state power that occurred in their community. Politically engaged feminist ethnography can illuminate the relationship between state security projects, preexisting social hierarchies, and endemic forms of insecurity and violence that remain difficult to politicize in postwar Central America.

Topics: Economies, Gender, Militarized livelihoods, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Post-Conflict, Sexual Violence Regions: Americas, Central America Countries: Nicaragua

Year: 2015

Not Necessarily Solidarity: Dilemmas of Transnational Advocacy Networks Addressing Violence against Women

Citation:

Walsh, Shannon Drysdale. 2016. “Not Necessarily Solidarity: Dilemmas of Transnational Advocacy Networks Addressing Violence against Women.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 18 (2): 248–69. doi:10.1080/14616742.2015.1008246.

Author: Shannon Drysdale Walsh

Abstract:

Since the idea of “women's rights as human rights” emerged, there has been a wave of international donors, organizations and transnational feminist activists successfully delivering pressure and resources in the struggle to mitigate violence against women worldwide. Through these transnational networks, decisions regarding which local problems to address and how to manage them are often made at the international level. Most scholarship has rightly celebrated the advances for women's rights that have been made possible due to the impact of international organizations and transnational advocacy networks. However, there are many dilemmas that arise from this North-centric approach to assigning and managing priorities – especially among development aid organizations. Coordination with international donors is often necessary and has been a major source of advances. However, there are still some potentially harmful impacts of having to engage in these networks in order to address violence against women – including a disproportionate focus on short-term results while neglecting long-term goals. This article articulates these dilemmas and explains how international feminist human rights norms can be more successfully translated into a stronger sense of solidarity across borders and more sustainable advances for women. Examples are drawn from the Central American countries of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua.

Keywords: transnational advocacy networks, Violence against women, Central America, women's rights, human rights

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Women, Globalization, Humanitarian Assistance, International Organizations, NGOs, Political Participation, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights, Violence Regions: Americas, Central America Countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua

Year: 2016

The Truth Will Set Us Free: Religion, Violence, and Women's Empowerment in Latin America

Citation:

Maher, Monica. 2008. “The Truth Will Set Us Free: Religion, Violence, and Women’s Empowerment in Latin America.” In Global Empowerment of Women: Responses to Globalization and Politicized Religions, 265–85. New York: Routledge.

Author: Monica Maher

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Religion, Violence Regions: Americas, Central America, South America

Year: 2008

Impact of Improved Cookstoves on Indoor Air Pollution and Adverse Health Effects Among Honduran Women

Citation:

Clark, Maggie L., Jennifer L. Peel, James B. Burch, Tracy L. Nelson, Matthew M. Robinson, Stuart Conway, Annette M. Bachand, and Stephen J. Reynolds. 2009. “Impact of Improved Cookstoves on Indoor Air Pollution and Adverse Health Effects among Honduran Women.” International Journal of Environmental Health Research, 1–12.

Authors: Maggie L. Clark, Jennifer L. Peel, James B. Burch, Tracy L. Nelson, Matthew M. Robinson, Stuart Conway, Annette M. Bachand, Stephen J. Reynolds

Abstract:

Elevated indoor air pollution levels due to the burning of biomass in developing countries are well established. Few studies have quantitatively assessed air pollution levels of improved cookstoves and examined these measures in relation to health effects. We conducted a cross-sectional survey among 79 Honduran women cooking with traditional or improved cookstoves. Carbon monoxide and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) levels were assessed via indoor and personal monitoring. Pulmonary function and respiratory symptoms were ascertained. Finger-stick blood spot samples were collected to measure C-reactive protein (CRP) concentrations. The use of improved stoves was associated with 63% lower levels of personal PM2.5, 73% lower levels of indoor PM2.5, and 87% lower levels of indoor carbon monoxide as compared to traditional stoves. Women using traditional stoves reported symptoms more frequently than those using improved stoves. There was no evidence of associations between cookstove type or air quality measures with lung function or CRP. (Abstract from Taylor & Francis)

Topics: Environment, Gender, Women, Health, Households, Livelihoods Regions: Americas, Central America Countries: Honduras

Year: 2009

Looking Beyond Violent Militarized Masculinities: Guerilla Gender Regimes in Latin America

Citation:

Dietrich Ortega, Luisa Maria. 2012. “Looking Beyond Violent Militarized Masculinities: Guerilla Gender Regimes in Latin America.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 14 (4): 489–507. doi:10.1080/14616742.2012.726094.

Author: Luisa Maria Dietrich Ortega

Abstract:

This article moves beyond stereotypical portrayals of the connections between hyper-masculinity and violence in militarized contexts and identifies expressions of insurgent masculinities different from the imagery of ‘heroic guerrilla fighter’. Based on conversations with fifty female and male former insurgent militants in Peru, Colombia and El Salvador, this comparative analysis explores patterns within gender regimes created in insurgent movements. This contribution shows that ‘gender’ is not merely a ‘side contradiction’, but that guerrilla movements invest considerable efforts in creating and managing gender relations. The construction of insurgent masculinities is not based on the rejection or devaluation of women in general, but requires diluting gendered dichotomies, enabling not only alternative role models functional for armed struggle, but also female–male bonding, prioritizing comrade identity over gender-binary consciousness.

Keywords: 'female comrade', gender regime, guerilla, Latin America, masculinities

Topics: Combatants, Female Combatants, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Hierarchies, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries Regions: Americas, Central America, South America Countries: Colombia, El Salvador, Peru

Year: 2012

Towards a (re)Conceptualisation of the "Feminisation of Poverty": Reflections on Gender-Differentiated Poverty from The Gambia, Philippines and Costa Rica

Citation:

Chant, Sylvia. 2010. “Towards a (re)Conceptualisation of the ‘Feminisation of Poverty’: Reflections on Gender-Differentiated Poverty from The Gambia, Philippines and Costa Rica.” In The International Handbook of Gender and Poverty: Concepts, Resarch, Policy. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing.

Author: Sylvia Chant

Topics: Economies, Poverty, Gender, Women, Households, Livelihoods, Post-Conflict Regions: Africa, West Africa, Americas, Central America, Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Costa Rica, Gambia, Philippines

Year: 2010

Violence Against Women in Latin America

Citation:

Wilson, Tamar Diana. 2014. “Violence Against Women in Latin America.” Latin American Perspectives 41 (1): 3–18. doi:10.1177/0094582X13492143.

Author: Tamar Diana Wison

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Domestic Violence, Gender, Women, Masculinity/ies, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Post-Conflict, Sexual Violence, Rape, Torture Regions: Americas, Central America, North America, South America Countries: Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua

Year: 2014

No More Killings! Women Respond to Femicides in Central America

Citation:

Prieto-Carrón, Marina, Marilyn Thomson, and Mandy Macdonald. 2007. “No More Killings! Women Respond to Femicides in Central America.” Gender and Development 15 (1): 25–40.

Authors: Marina Prieto Carrón, Marilyn Thomson, Mandy Macdonald

Abstract:

This article looks at a specific form of social violence against women in Mexico and Central America, the violent murder of women - femicidio or feminicidio in Spanish, femicide in English. We explore the nature of femicide by analysing the situation from a gender perspective, as an extreme form of gender-based violence (GBV), and linking femicides with discrimination, poverty and a 'backlash' against women. In a climate of total state impunity, it is extremely important to support the responses of feminists and women's organisations in the region who are carrying out research to document femicides and GBV in general, supporting survivors and their families, and carrying out advocacy activities. 

Topics: Economies, Poverty, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Justice, Impunity, Violence Regions: Americas, Central America, North America Countries: Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua

Year: 2007

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