OnePager#7: Reproductive politics in war and peace in Colombia

OnePager CAPAZ Salud Sexual y Reprotuctiva

OnePager#7: Reproductive politics in war and peace in Colombia

In this instalment of the OnePagers we have been publishing in the framework of the CAPAZ Education and Science Diplomacy project, we talk about sexual and reproductive rights. Specifically, we try to understand the relevance of this issue in the context of the Colombian armed conflict and the transition to peace.

This OnePager is titled Beyond revolutionaries, victims and heroic mothers. Reproductive politics in war and peace in Colombia and was written by Vanesa Giraldo Gartner (University of Massachusetts). Dr. Girlado also serves as a CAPAZ Science Collaborator.

This research addresses the discussion on the reproductive policies of the FARC guerrilla group, which in recent years have become a site of dispute in the production of new discourses on peace, gender, and the nation. In other words, it “explores the implications of reproductive policies in times of war and in peace-building processes among female ex-combatants“. 

This research is based on four years of ethnographic work from 2017 to 2021 where we conducted:

  • Participatory action research with grassroots communities and women ex-combatants in a reincorporation programme in the municipalities of Florencia and La Montañita, Caquetá.
  • 45 interviews and focus groups with ex-combatants from different social, governmental, and international organisations.
  • Development of community projects offering childcare alternatives to families with children in the process of social reconfiguration from military to civilian life in rural areas.
  • The research also included the reconstruction of public debates in the press by categorising and coding 253 reports from two newspapers and one national magazine from the 1990s to 2018.

Based on the concepts listed below Vanesa Giraldo was able to extend the reflection on reproductive violence beyond abortion and forced contraception, to recognise the violence to which combatants who were persecuted and mistreated during pregnancy by other armed groups and by the state were subjected.

  • Reproductive governance (Morgan and Roberts, 2012): refers to the various mechanisms for producing, monitoring, and controlling women’s reproductive lives.
  • Reproductive justice (Ross and Solinger, 2017): addresses reproductive rights from a broad social justice approach.

Download OnePager#7