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Global Consensus, Dissensus, and National Policy Development: Sterilization and Abortion in Peru

Erika Busse (Macalester College, USA)
Elizabeth Heger Boyle (University of Minnesota, USA)

Gender Visibility and Erasure

ISBN: 978-1-80382-594-6, eISBN: 978-1-80382-593-9

ISSN: 1529-2126

Publication date: 15 August 2022


Sterilization is endorsed as a method of family planning by international governmental organizations; abortion is not. Focusing on policy development for these two issues in a single country, Peru, we ask how power and inequality operate under conditions of global consensus or dissensus. The case of sterilization unfolded the way many previous research studies would predict, with Peruvian state actions corresponding to a global diffusion process. We find that global consensus provided cover for top-down actions that violated the human rights of indigenous women in the country, who were predominantly poor, non-Spanish speakers, and residents of the mountainous, sparsely populated parts of the country. With respect to abortion in Peru, in the absence of global consensus, the state resisted calls for change, advocacy networks have worked at cross-purposes, and a powerful local actor, the Catholic Church, has effectively blocked liberalization efforts. As with sterilization, however, marginalized indigenous women and their interests were rendered invisible.



Busse, E. and Boyle, E.H. (2022), "Global Consensus, Dissensus, and National Policy Development: Sterilization and Abortion in Peru", Segal, M.T. and Demos, V. (Ed.) Gender Visibility and Erasure (Advances in Gender Research, Vol. 33), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 181-201.



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