As a topic of discussion in the United States, abortion has long raised red flags. Not surprisingly, it is hardly a neutral subject in other national settings. Yet, apart from questions about the origin of life and legal questions about abortion rights, there are other dimensions to the history of abortion that relate to the lives of individual people on the local level.
The following... Read More »
In the 1950s, when the first contraceptive pills were tested in Puerto Rico, politicians, health administrators, and Church officials worldwide began to discuss human reproduction in new ways. The understanding that pregnancy could be prevented by “scientific” means stimulated debates on the regulation and control of human reproduction. After World War II, Neo-Malthusian views and the fear of... Read More »
Violence against women may take place within families as well as in settings outside of the domestic environment. Policy makers, academics, and activists have long sought to identify root causes of violence. These efforts have included strategies to help the victims of violence and to terminate violent behavior. Police stations staffed by women have been innovative testing grounds in some... Read More »
Motherhood and the many requirements that come with it provide a good starting point for analysis of women’s need for protection, on the one hand, and the limits on women’s decision-making imposed in protective legislation, on the other. When women entered the labor market, it became necessary to address their needs and concerns as both women and workers. As a result, women’s movements... Read More »
Domestic violence is hardly a new topic in the global history of gender relations. Scholars and counselors have long been familiar with responses to domestic violence, ranging from emergency hotlines and family counseling to restraining orders placed on abusive spouses or partners. However, the manner in which domestic violence is addressed must reflect the fact that it exists in different... Read More »
The right to life is a basic prerequisite to definitions of the right to live a healthy life. However, because of violence against women and various other stringent challenges to their daily lives, neither women’s health nor their daily lives are fully secure.
This document offers insights into the work of the Organization of American States (OAS), an international agency which helps... Read More »
Access to education and the willingness to learn are crucial ingredients to improve the health of women throughout the world. Good health depends on an understanding of the human body, but also requires the knowledge to maintain a healthy lifestyle. However, access to that knowledge is often dictated by social and economic standing within a society. As a result, poor or rural women need to... Read More »
As a popular saying and historical reality suggest, prostitution is the world’s oldest profession. On one level, the topic of prostitution is connected to a set of moral-ethical considerations. On a different level, however, it is necessary to address prostitution from a health and human rights perspective. Female prostitutes in Latin America and other parts of the world often rely on... Read More »
From the time of birth, children in Aztec, or Nahua, society were socialized into gender roles. In the birth ritual introducing the infant to society, symbolic objects clearly differentiated. Boys were to be warriors and craftsmen, and girls were to tend to domestic chores. Articles of clothing—loincloth and cape for the boy, shift and skirt for the girl—were given to the child. The umbilical... Read More »
De Staël was the daughter of Jacques Necker, Louis XVI’s Swiss Protestant finance minister. She published novels, literary tracts, and memoirs and became one of the best-known writers of the early nineteenth century. Napoleon exiled her in 1803. In the following excerpts, she describes her first meetings with him in 1797 and her judgment of the man.