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South America

Love in the Time of Cholera: LGBT Rights in Colombia


Ripoll, Julieta. 2009. "Love in the Time of Cholera: LGBT Rights in Colombia." International Journal on Human Rights 6 (11): 73-89.

Author: Julieta Ripoll


In a recent hearing before the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights, human rights activists denounced the violence in Colombia besetting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transvestite, transsexual and transgendered individuals (LGBT). Amongst the problems enumerated were abuse of police power, sexual violence in the prisons, murders fueled by hate, as well as several kinds of discrimination. This contrasts with the jurisprudence of the Constitutional Court, where there has been advancement in the protection of individuals’ sexual rights. This article, which describes both the violence as well as the Court’s sentencing, analyzes the symbolic role of the law and argues that these activists have an ambivalent relationship with the law: while wary of it, for its inefficacy, they mobilize for legal reform and benefit from the Court’s progressive jurisprudence.

Keywords: homosexuality, human rights

Topics: Governance, Constitutions, LGBTQ, Rights, Human Rights, Sexual Violence, Sexuality Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2009

Exporting Gender Injustice: The Impact of the U.S. War on Drugs on Ecuadorian Women


Norton-Hawk, Maureen. 2010. "Exporting Gender Injustice: The Impact of the U.S. War on Drugs on Ecuadorian Women." Critical Criminology 18 (2): 133.

Author: Maureen Norton-Hawk


Numerous researchers have documented the gendered impact of the United States’ domestic war against drugs. Women incarcerated for non-violent drug offenses are the fastest growing segment of America’s prison population because of the harsh penalties for using, selling and transporting illegal substances. The impact of U.S. drug policy on women in other countries, in contrast, has been overlooked. This paper argues that the greatly increased imprisonment of women in Ecuador for drug-related offenses is collateral damage of the U.S. war on drugs. The impact of the expansion of women’s imprisonment in Ecuador appears to be particularly damaging to the inmate’s children who frequently join their mother in prison. U.S. policy should not be exported to other countries before having a clear picture of the unintended negative consequences.

Keywords: globalization, war on drugs, collateral damage, criminal justice

Topics: Gender, Women, Justice, Rights, Women's Rights, Trafficking, Drug Trafficking Regions: Americas, North America, South America Countries: Ecuador, United States of America

Year: 2010

Promoting Cultural Diversity and the Rights of Women: The Dilemmas of 'Intersectionality' for Development Organisations


Van der Hoogte, Liesbeth, and Koos Kingma. 2004. "Promoting Cultural Diversity and the Rights of Women: The Dilemmas of 'Intersectionality' for Development Organisations." Gender and Development 12 (1): 47-55.

Authors: Liesbeth Van der Hoogte, Koos Kingma


Work with women belonging to indigenous groups in Latin America needs to take into account both their identity as women and their identity as indigenous people, and the interplay between these identities. Indigenous women do not reject their culture, but want to change certain traditions in order to promote justice. Novib and Hivos, two Dutch development organisations, organised a workshop with local experts to discuss how to support indigenous women. Two important dilemmas were identified: the tension between collective and individual rights, and the need to link and address social and economic exclusion with cultural discrimination. Holistic solutions are needed. Changing power relations is a long-term process, which also needs to deal with fighting gender-based violence. NGOs need to change their attitude towards their target groups, and think and work for the long term. This is a challenge, given the current emphasis on short-term, measurable results.

Topics: Development, Gender, Women, Justice, NGOs, Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Americas, Central America, South America

Year: 2004

Protagonists and Victims: Women Leading the Fight for a Democratic Colombia


Herman, Melissa. 2008. "Protagonists and Victims: Women Leading the Fight for a Democratic Colombia." Feminist Review 88: 122-127.

Author: Melissa Herman

Keywords: democracy, woman's organizations, intersectionality, autonomy, governance

Topics: Civil Society, Democracy / Democratization, Gender, Women, Governance, Political Participation, Rights Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2008

Creating Citizens, Making Men: The Military and Masculinity in Bolivia


Gill, Lesley. 1997. "Creating Citizens, Making Men: The Military and Masculinity in Bolivia." Cultural Anthropology 12 (4): 527-50.

Author: Lesley Gill

Keywords: militarization, masculinity, male soldiers

Topics: Citizenship, Gender, Men, Masculinity/ies, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Militarization Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Bolivia

Year: 1997

Rebuilding Social Capital in Post-Conflict Regions: Women's Village Banking in Ayucucho, Peru and in Highland Guatemala


Bebbington, Denise Humphreys, and Arelis Gómez. 2006. "Rebuilding Social Capital in Post-Conflict Regions: Women's Village Banking in Ayucucho, Peru and in Highland Guatemala." In Microfinance: Perils and Propsects, edited by Jude L. Fernando, 112-132. London: Routledge.

Authors: Denis Humphreys Bebbington, Arelis Gómez


In this chapter we will use examples from two village banking programs, in post-conflict Ayacucho, Peru (with FINCA Peru) and in Highland Guatemala (with the NGO FAFIDESS), to illustrate how the provision of financial services contributed to the rebuilding of such social capital. The experiences of group managed lending schemes, such as the village banks promoted by FINCA International, and traditional rotating savings and credit associations known as ROSCAs, suggest that there is indeed an important relationship between the social dynamic of the group and favorable financial outcomes. Our findings indicate that the more members trust each other, the better able they are to engage in mutual risk-taking and reap the benefits.

Keywords: reconstruction


“The [Foundation for Community Assistance] methodology, based upon principles of self-help and self-management, primarily targets poor women in urban and semi-urban settings...participants are self-selected and may often be friends, neighbors, or relatives and programs often have selection criteria which might include: preference for mothers with children, permanent residence in the community, reputation for honesty, and hard work.” (Bebbington, 114)

“By virtue of their social isolation, poor women are difficult clients to recruit...Situations of conflict pose special problems, particularly when the result is a larger number of war widows...Encouraging members to articulate their personal hardships and dreams is at the center of FINCA’s social empowerment strategy for women...Beyond the emotional appeal of this approach, it helps isolated women extend their social networks with important impacts.” (Bebbington, 119)

“NGOs that are both knowledgeable of the region and sensitive to their clients’ needs will be better able to look for synergism that will enhance benefits to their clients. They will understand the dimensions of the client’s poverty and vulnerability.” (Bebbington, 119)

“However this newly discovered economic power has shifted roles within families often resulting in increased conflict within the family, particularly with spouses, but also with children and other family members.” (Bebbington, 125)

Topics: Class, Development, Economies, Gender, Women, NGOs, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction Regions: Americas, Central America, South America Countries: Guatemala, Peru

Year: 2006

The Other Half of Gender: Men's Issues in Development


Bannon, Ian, & Maria Correia. 2006. The Other Half of Gender: Men's Issues in Development. Washington, DC: World Bank Group.

Authors: Ian Bannon, Maria Correia


This book is an attempt to bring the gender and development debate full circle-from a much-needed focus on empowering women to a more comprehensive gender framework that considers gender as a system that affects both women and men. The chapters in this book explore definitions of masculinity and male identities in a variety of social contexts, drawing from experiences in Latin America, the Caribbean and sub-Saharan Africa. It draws on a slowly emerging realization that attaining the vision of gender equality will be difficult, if not impossible, without changing the ways in which masculinities are defined and acted upon. Although changing male gender norms will be a difficult and slow process, we must begin by understanding how versions of masculinities are defined and acted upon. (WorldCat)

Keywords: development, gender norms

Topics: Development, Gender, Women, Men, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa, West Africa, Americas, Caribbean countries, Central America, South America

Year: 2006

Texts in Context: Afro-Colombian Women's Activism in the Pacific Lowlands of Colombia


Asher, Kiran. 2004. "Texts in Context: Afro-Colombian Women's Activism in the Pacific Lowlands of Colombia." Feminist Review 78: 38-55.

Author: Kiran Asher


This paper speaks across the divide between feminist theorists and praxis-oriented gender experts to argue for a more enabling reading of postcolonial feminist critiques of gender and development. Drawing on the activism of Afro-Colombian women in the Pacific Lowlands of Colombia - most especially Matambay Guasá, a network of black women's organizations from the state of Cauca - it brings attention to the independent ability of women in these locations to reflect and act on their own realities and claims. 

Keywords: gender, development, environment, postcolonial feminism, Afro-Colombian

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Development, Feminisms, Gender, Women Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2004

Women, War and Peace: The War We Are Living

Women on the Frontline: Justice in the Region of Death

"Aired first on BBC World TV, this critically acclaimed series, hosted by Annie Lennox, gives a brutally honest account of the silent war being waged against women across the world.


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