The Politics of Reproductive Health in Peru : Gender and Social Policy in the Global South

ROUSSEAU, STÉPHANIE: art41] (2007) «~The Politics of Reproductive Health in Peru : Gender and Social Policy in the Global South~», Social Politics. International Studies in Gender, State and Society, vol. 14, no 1, p.93-125.This article analyzes the politics of reproductive health policy-making in Peru in the context of healthcare reform initiatives undertaken since the early 1990s. In Latin America, women’s body politics are emerging within a complex architecture of institutionalized social stratification and religious lobbies. The case of Peru is approached from a gendered, specifically South-World analysis, revealing the deep embedding of a vast constellation of reproductive healthcare issues within the nascent social welfare policy-making process. Through limited national public health insurance schemes, a new social policy model, based on a targeted poverty-reduction paradigm, is now partially addressing the reproductive health needs of the majority of Peruvian women. Policy implementation, however, is highly contested, fragile, and has been subject to setbacks and deadly abuses. The article shows that, in addressing developing countries such as Peru, the role of international actors and the impact of unconsolidated democratic institutions are two key variables in the comparative analysis of social policy regime formation.

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