The conservative resistance against women's bodily integrity in Latin America : the case of Chile

Alvarez Minte, Gabriela (2017) The conservative resistance against women's bodily integrity in Latin America : the case of Chile. Doctoral thesis, Birkbeck, University of London.

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This research analyses the conservative resistance to women's women's bodily integrity, specifically women's sexual and reproductive rights in Chile, responding to the questions (1) How are policies on sexual and reproductive rights contested and blocked in Chile? and (2) What drives this resistance? Using empirical analysis and qualitative research, it explores the historical legacies of the dictatorship (1973 - 1989) and its implications for current policy making and the history, strategies and influence of the Catholic Church. It also looks in detail at three current policy processes: sexuality education, access to emergency contraception and decriminalization of therapeutic abortion. It concludes that women's sexual and reproductive rights challenge core conservative principles and generate fear of social change. They are contested by principles institutionalized by the dictatorship, based on conservative ideas about naturalized gender roles and the roles of institutions within a perceived organic and natural society. Institutional legacies include the political and economic system, the subsidiary role assigned to the state limiting its reach and giving space to conservative private businesses to influence policy making. Progress is slow because political institutions and political parties are vulnerable to conservative in uence, evidenced by the role of the Catholic Church in the transition to democracy, and in the shift to a conservative agenda in the 1990s. The political power and influence of the Chilean conservative elite has also been key. The resistance is driven by committed conservatives using a range of strategies, convinced of the need to maintain a natural order in the family and gender relations, where reproductive rights challenge this order. The resistance is also facilitated by politicians and authorities at local level.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Copyright Holders: The copyright of this thesis rests with the author, who asserts his/her right to be known as such according to the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. No dealing with the thesis contrary to the copyright or moral rights of the author is permitted.
School/Department: School of Social Sciences, History & Philosophy > Department of Geography
Depositing User: ORBIT Editor
Date Deposited: 25 Sep 2017 15:14
Last Modified: 25 Sep 2017 15:14

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