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    327684
    Peer Reviewed

    Policies around sexual and reproductive health and rights in Peru: Conflict, biases and silence.

    Caceres C; Cueto M; Palomino N

    Global Public Health. 2008; 3(S2):39-57.

    This study is aimed at examining how subsequent Peruvian governments, since 1990, have addressed reproductive rights, HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment, and sexual diversity rights, as well as the drastic policy shifts and its many contradictions. Abortion and contraception consistently generated the deepest public controversies and debates, which made progress in reproductive rights difficult. HIV/AIDS was often portrayed as having the potential to affect everyone, which allowed advocates and activists to achieve some success in advancing HIV/AIDS-related rights. Sexual diversity rights, perceived as a demand made by "others", were generally trivialised and disdained by politicians, officials, and the general population. Positive changes occurred as long as the issue was given a low political and institutional profile. The analysis of policy-making and programme implementation in these three areas reveals that: (1) Weaknesses in national institutional frameworks concerning reproductive health made it possible for governments to adopt two very different (even contradictory) approaches to the issue within the past 15 years; (2) Policies were presented as rights-based in order to garner political legitimacy when, in fact, they evidenced a clear disregard for the rights of individual citizens; and (3) By favouring low-profile "public health" discourses, and marginalising "the sexual" in official policies related to sexuality, advocacy groups sometimes created opportunities for legal changes but failed to challenge conservative powers opposing the recognition of sexual and reproductive rights and the full citizenship of women and sexual minorities. (author's)
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