The Politics of Motherhood
Maternity and Women’s Rights in Twentieth-Century Chile
Publication Year: 2009
Published by: University of Pittsburgh Press
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The research for this book was inspired by experiences on location during my first stay in Santiago in 1993, during almost two years in Chile between 1995 and 1997, and on about nine trips to Santiago between 1998 and 2007. Enrolled in a summer course on “shantytown health care” on my first trip, I was taught by a terrific group of physicians and health-care activists of the...
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In Chile, my friends Fanny Berlagoscky Mora and Lorena de los �ngeles N��ez Carrasco have supported me when I needed them most, and they have continued to share insights on questions of life, large and small. Special thanks to my dear sister, Bernhild B. Pieper, for making time to travel to Santiago to help me through troubles I could not have foreseen. Throughout my on-site...
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In 1872, Chilean writer Martina Barros Borgoño made it her personal task to translate into Spanish the acclaimed On the Subjection of Women, a work by Englishman, moral philosopher, and political theorist John Stuart Mill.¹ In a provocative prologue that gave her a name as a respected voice among Santiago’s intellectuals, Barros Borgoño introduced what she considered Mill’s most...
1. Public Health, Managed Motherhood, and Patriarchy in a Modernizing Nation
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In the 1920s, when social worker Luisa Fierro Carrera expressed her thoughts on “woman in her role as creator” in society, Chile was in the midst of a profound transformation. New political movements, especially among middle-class reformers, contested the powers of the old oligarchy and promoted, as the historian Patrick Barr-Melej has termed it, a “mesocracy” marked...
2. Local Agency, Changed Global Paradigms, and the Burden of Motherhood
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In 1964, a woman we know only as Cristina, from the municipality of Conchal� in Santiago, found herself pregnant, desperate, and unable to face the challenge of raising another child. She tried to make a home of a shack in a neighborhood invaded by squatters. At thirty-one, she and her four children lived in poverty. Even though her hardworking husband sold bread door...
3. Planning Motherhood under Christian Democracy
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In 1968, Chilean doctors received an educational film, Family Planning/ Planificaci�n Familiar, from the U.S. Population Council.� It was first shown in screenings organized by the Association for the Protection of the Family (APROFA) and quickly gained popularity. Within a year, more than thirty-six thousand Chileans had seen the film.� The Disney animation, produced in both...
4. Gendered Citizenship Rights on the Peaceful Road to Socialism
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When Laura, a woman in her early twenties, talked about her experiences under President Allende’s government (1970–1973), she painted a picture markedly different from the established portrait of women’s roles. She recalled her initial plunge into politics in the late 1960s, at which time she was involved in struggles for land that led to the foundation of Nueva La Havana...
5. From Mothers’ Rights toWomen’s Rights in a Nation under Siege
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In January 1974, the French newspaper Le monde published a story on Santiago’s campamento New Havana. Its residents had been the best organized and most combative pobladores during Allende’s term as president (1970–1973). In the course of only three years, they had constrained illegal alcohol sales and prostitution while at the same time their own defense front had prevented...
6. International Encounters and Women’s Empowerment under Dictatorship and Redemocratization
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In October 1974, Joan Jara, widow of singer-songwriter Victor Jara, who had been tortured and killed by the military, toured the United States with her young children and the folk band Inti-Illimani. All had been exiled from Chile. Now they used music to tell of the political violence that continued to shatter their home country. Inti-Illimani summed up its message for a New York...
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Page Count: 320
Illustrations: 16 Illustrations
Publication Year: 2009
Series Title: Pitt Latin American Series
Series Editor Byline: John Charles Chasteen and Catherine M. Conaghan, Editors