Rethinking the 'international' in the politics of women's health: an ethnographic excursion through the story of the anti-fertility vaccine and beyond

Victoria Loblay

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Abstract

Using my own experiences travelling between feminisms in Australia and India, I argue that there has been a lack of interrogation into the ‘internationalisms’ that operate in the politics of women’s health, resulting in the perpetuation of a chasm among feminists on issues such as contraception and reproductive rights. I consider the chasm in feminist perspectives a productive analytic site and use this as a framework for exploring the concept of the ‘international’ in a campaign that has been deemed a success in the realm of international women’s health politics: the campaign against the Anti-Fertility Vaccine. I examine the various ‘internationalisms’ that operate in the narratives of the campaign from different standpoints, comparing ‘international’ commentary to the perspectives elicited by Indian activists. By viewing the campaign in the context of the Indian women’s health movement I demonstrate how dominant versions of internationalism serve to marginalise other more inclusive feminist internationalisms. In doing so, I seek to uncover some of the stumbling blocks that prevent the synchronisation of feminisms in the field of women’s health politics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-29
Number of pages29
JournalOutskirts : feminisms along the edge
Volume17
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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