Advanced

Population, pleasure and sexuality : a content analysis of norms and assumptions in Cairo's Programme of Action

Merkel, Annabel LU (2013) MRSK60 20131
Human Rights Studies
Abstract
This essay aims to discuss the feminist vision that is said to be embedded in mod-ern population politics. The starting point for this work is the Programme of Ac-tion, created at the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo in 1994. This document has been praised for its women-centred approach and focus on sexual and reproductive health and rights, but is it truly feminist? Internationally recognised human rights were also said to be the ideological basis for the conference, but whose sexuality is described as most “real”? By analysing the document using theoretical concepts like “the pleasure deficit” this essay will attempt to shed light on to how women’s sexuality and their right to sexual pleasure is seen as a... (More)
This essay aims to discuss the feminist vision that is said to be embedded in mod-ern population politics. The starting point for this work is the Programme of Ac-tion, created at the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo in 1994. This document has been praised for its women-centred approach and focus on sexual and reproductive health and rights, but is it truly feminist? Internationally recognised human rights were also said to be the ideological basis for the conference, but whose sexuality is described as most “real”? By analysing the document using theoretical concepts like “the pleasure deficit” this essay will attempt to shed light on to how women’s sexuality and their right to sexual pleasure is seen as a lower priority than men’s – even in norm-creating, international documents like the Programme of Action. Ruth Dixon-Mueller’s “the sexuality connection” will be used to examine what assumptions regarding sexuality, family constellations and relationships are embedded within the field of population and development – and what consequences these notions have when it comes to including or excluding groups that fall outside the hetero norm. This essay will argue that the Programme of Action fails to live up to the feminist praise it has been given when it describes women in a way that suggests they are victims of men’s sexuality, rather than sexual agents themselves. It will also argue that the docu-ment fails to reflect upon contemporary forms of family, sexual identities and the ways in which categories of gender, sexualities and relationships can entail different things depending on the context. (Less)
Abstract (Swedish)
Denna uppsats syftar till att diskutera den feministiska vision som sägs genomsyra modern befolkningspolitik. Startpunkten för detta arbete är “Programme of Action”, dvs. den handlingsplan som togs fram vid FN:s internationella konferens om befolkning och utveckling i Kairo 1994. Detta dokument har hyllats för sitt fokus på kvinnors välbefinnande samt sexuella och reproduktiva rättigheter, men är det verkligen feministiskt? Internationellt erkända mänskiga rättigheter sägs också ha varit en ideologisk bas för konferensen, men vems sexualitet betraktas som mest “riktig” enligt Programme of Action? Genom att analysera dokumentet med hjälp av teoretiska begrepp som “the pleasure deficit” syftar denna uppsats till att belysa hur kvinnors... (More)
Denna uppsats syftar till att diskutera den feministiska vision som sägs genomsyra modern befolkningspolitik. Startpunkten för detta arbete är “Programme of Action”, dvs. den handlingsplan som togs fram vid FN:s internationella konferens om befolkning och utveckling i Kairo 1994. Detta dokument har hyllats för sitt fokus på kvinnors välbefinnande samt sexuella och reproduktiva rättigheter, men är det verkligen feministiskt? Internationellt erkända mänskiga rättigheter sägs också ha varit en ideologisk bas för konferensen, men vems sexualitet betraktas som mest “riktig” enligt Programme of Action? Genom att analysera dokumentet med hjälp av teoretiska begrepp som “the pleasure deficit” syftar denna uppsats till att belysa hur kvinnors sexualitet och deras rätt till sexuell njutning ses som en lägre prioritet än mäns – även i internationella, normskapande dokument som denna handlingsplan. Ruth Dixon-Muellers begrepp “the sexuality connection” används för att undersöka vilka antaganden om sexualitet, familjekonstellationer och förhållanden som finns inbäddade i befolknings- och utvecklingsfältet – samt vilka konsekvenser dessa antaganden får när det gäller inkludering och exkludering av grupper och individer som faller utanför heteronormen. Denna uppsats kommer argumentera för att Programme of Action inte lever upp till den positiva feministiska kritik som riktats mot det, när det beskriver kvinnor på ett sätt som framställer dem som offer för mäns sexualitet snarare än sexuella varelser i sig själva. Uppsatsen kommer också argumentera för att detta dokument misslyckas med att reflektera över moderna familjekonstellationer, sexuella identiteter samt begrepp som genus, sexualitet och förhållanden och hur de kan tillskrivas olika betydelser beroende på kontext. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
@misc{3803336,
  abstract     = {This essay aims to discuss the feminist vision that is said to be embedded in mod-ern population politics. The starting point for this work is the Programme of Ac-tion, created at the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo in 1994. This document has been praised for its women-centred approach and focus on sexual and reproductive health and rights, but is it truly feminist? Internationally recognised human rights were also said to be the ideological basis for the conference, but whose sexuality is described as most “real”? By analysing the document using theoretical concepts like “the pleasure deficit” this essay will attempt to shed light on to how women’s sexuality and their right to sexual pleasure is seen as a lower priority than men’s – even in norm-creating, international documents like the Programme of Action. Ruth Dixon-Mueller’s “the sexuality connection” will be used to examine what assumptions regarding sexuality, family constellations and relationships are embedded within the field of population and development – and what consequences these notions have when it comes to including or excluding groups that fall outside the hetero norm. This essay will argue that the Programme of Action fails to live up to the feminist praise it has been given when it describes women in a way that suggests they are victims of men’s sexuality, rather than sexual agents themselves. It will also argue that the docu-ment fails to reflect upon contemporary forms of family, sexual identities and the ways in which categories of gender, sexualities and relationships can entail different things depending on the context.},
  author       = {Merkel, Annabel},
  keyword      = {Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights,Sexual Pleasure,the Sexuality Connection,the Pleasure Deficit,Programme of Action,International Conference on Population and Development,Cairo,Population Control,Population Politics,Feminism,Human Rights,mänskliga rättigheter},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Population, pleasure and sexuality : a content analysis of norms and assumptions in Cairo's Programme of Action},
  year         = {2013},
}