Reproductive Health and Human Rights with Bonnie Shepard
Five Thursdays (time changed to) 2-4 on 4/20, 27, 5/4, 11, 18 at Preservation Hall.
Course limited to 15 participants.
This 5-session course will examine core contested issues in reproductive rights in the USA and globally. We will discuss how gender norms, sexuality, race/ethnicity, age, class, and all forms of discrimination affect our ability to enjoy full reproductive and sexual health in the broadest sense of the word. (“Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” WHO Constitution)
One mandatory reading (maximum 20 pages) and other optional videos or readings will be provided from human rights documents as well as global scholars and activists, including the reproductive justice movement led by women of color in the USA. I will expect all participants to commit to the advance reading or exercise before each class, since the main teaching method will be guided discussion, after a short introduction.
The five sessions are tentatively organized as follows:
- How International Human Rights conventions and guidance address Reproductive Rights.
- The class will include a short introduction to the international human rights system and examine the strengths and the gaps regarding reproductive rights.
- In advance, participants will be sent information on how to do human rights research on a specific reproductive health topic of their choice, and asked to bring what they found to the first class.
- From Population Control to Human Rights. How the ideologies of eugenics, population control gave way to the paradigm change to Reproductive Rights and Justice. Discussion of historical and current examples of human rights abuses related to reproductive rights.
- Gender and sexuality as they affect reproductive health and rights.
- The reproductive rights of young people: advances and controversies. Topics include sexuality education, child/early marriage, and access to contraception.
- How political and cultural tensions affect reproductive rights and strategies to address them.