Sex and the State: Abortion, Divorce, and the Family under by Mala Htun

By Mala Htun

As Argentina, Brazil, and Chile made transitions from democratic to authoritarian kinds of govt (and back), they faced demanding situations posed through the increase of the feminist circulate, social adjustments, and the facility of the Catholic Church. This learn explores the styles of gender-related coverage reform in those nations and divulges their implications for the peoples of Latin the US. additionally, it deals a broader realizing of the common sense at the back of the state's position in affecting deepest lives and gender family far and wide.

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Political democratization is therefore a precondition for advances in family law and women’s rights. As Chilean feminist theorist Julieta Kirkwood argued: “There is no democracy without feminism, and no feminism without democracy” (1990). To be sure, the patriarchal military project was not seamless. Latin American militarism produced contradictory effects on gender relations and women’s positions. In spite of their conservative discourse, military economic policies pushed unprecedented numbers of women into the work force, breaking down public-private distinctions and creating social dynamics that challenged traditional gender roles (Alvarez 1990; Jaquette 1994; Waylen 1996).

The normative traditions of gender and the state found in Roman Catholicism, liberalism, feminism, and socialism contextualize the political struggles depicted in this book. The agreements and disagreements among Catholicism, liberalism, feminism, and socialism helped frame gender policy debates and opposition to proposals for change. This chapter sketches the evolution of ideas about gender policy issues in four normative traditions of gender and the state and describes the historical development of Latin American civil and criminal codes.

The existence of these commissions provided a window of opportunity for elite issue networks to influence state policy, even under authoritarian conditions. One important difference between military governments that affected their policy-making capacity was the existence of Congress. Brazil, which Juan Linz aptly calls an “authoritarian situation” as opposed to an “authoritarian regime,” did not follow the usually military pattern and close its Congress (Linz 1973). To be sure, the military government circumscribed the activities of the legislature and continually rigged electoral rules to privilege the party aligned with the government (ARENA, later PDS) (Lamounier 1999; Skidmore 1988).

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