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Gendered networks and health care privatization

Patients, Consumers and Civil Society

ISBN: 978-1-84855-214-2, eISBN: 978-1-84855-215-9

ISSN: 1057-6290

Publication date: 1 January 2008


Purpose – This study identifies the multiple contributions of the Salvadoran women's movement in sustaining mass mobilization under the threat of public health care privatization.

Methodology/approach – A case study methodological approach shows how the emergence of an autonomous women's movement in El Salvador in the late 1980s and early 1990s “spilled over” (Meyer & Whittier, 1994) to assist in the maintenance of the health care campaigns in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Findings – We observed three arenas in which the women's movement played pivotal roles in the anti-health care privatization struggle: (1) women-based organizations; (2) leadership positions within larger coalitions brokering the participation of diverse social sectors; and (3) key advocacy roles inside the state. These three contributions of the women's movement increased the overall level of mobilization and success against health care privatization.

Research limitations – The study centered on one major group of health care consumers. The role of other civic organizations should be examined in future research.

Originality/value of chapter – The study demonstrates that in the era of globalization, women's movements form a critical part of the social movement sector facilitating the construction of large coalitions protecting consumers from neoliberal restructuring in areas such as public health care.


Almeida, P. and Delgado, R. (2008), "Gendered networks and health care privatization", Chambré, S.M. and Goldner, M. (Ed.) Patients, Consumers and Civil Society (Advances in Medical Sociology, Vol. 10), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 273-299.



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