ARE APPEALS TO HUMAN RIGHTS AN EFFECTIVE FRAMING FOR FEMINIST ‘PRO-CHOICE’ DEMANDS IN CHILE? A FEMINIST CRITIQUE
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My central question asks to what extent the politics of the interpretation of the human rights discourse acts as an obstacle to the legalisation of abortion. To answer this question, I set out the theoretical basis for the feminist critiques of the human rights discourse and its effect on women’s rights. I contend that those in control of informal and formal institutions have control of the interpretation of human rights. I situate this within the historical context, analysing the formal and informal institutional obstacles to feminist policymaking and activism. I analyse the gender ideology that underlies the “pro-life” discourse, and explore the mechanisms by which the “prolife” sector ensures its cultural hegemony, arguing that what occurs in civil society (informal) shapes the formal and informal institutional responses to sexual and reproductive rights. I then assess how this discourse and gender ideology is reflected in the content of political projects related to abortion, thereby highlighting how informal institutions inform formal responses. I conclude by examining the tactics of a section of the radical branch of the feminist movement in Chile today and the innovative measures they utilise in order to challenge, deconstruct, and destabilise the conservative control of the informal institutions of gender norms that shape responses to issues of sexual and reproductive health in Chile. This research is intended to add to analyses seeking to assess the interplay between informal and formal institutions, and the potential this has in isolating entry points for advocacy and activism. I argue that the way to legalisation must proceed via shifting the discourse.
AuthorsFloyd, Gina Louise Maria
- Theses