Women's Health

To be endorsed by both Brinda Karat and Shabana Azmi is perhaps not surprising, but endorsement by such high-profile readers brings its share of attention.

Mohan Rao, colleague at JNU, and Sarah Sexton edit Markets and Malthus: Population, Gender, and Health in Neo-liberal Times which explores the ideas and institutions that were framed at the 1994 United Nations population conference in Cairo and traces their trajectories sixteen years down the line. Why were Third World feminists profoundly critical of the Cairo consensus and process? How has the health of people around the world been affected by neo-liberal economic policies? What have these meant for women’s rights, including reproductive rights?

The book presents detailed case studies from various countries ranging from India and China, to Egypt, Tanzania, Uganda, and across Africa to Argentina, Peru, and throughout Latin America, as well as overarching themed essays. From the politics of abortion and immigration to rising levels of fundamentalist violence and sex selective abortions, the volume explores a range of issues from several vantage points. It offers startling new insights into these issues by linking them to neo-liberal economic policies that have profoundly shaped health policies globally.

The endorsement by Karat goes " This remarkable collection of essays shows us, through case studies from across the world, how the Cairo Conference`s call for reproductive rights have been subverted by neo-liberal economic policies to promote fertility control at the cost of women`s health" while Azmi says "the current climate when overpopulation arguments are again prominent, this book is essential reading for health and women`s rights activists and indeed policy-makers. It explores how the promises of reproductive health and rights at the ICPD in Cairo in 1994 were hollowed out by neo-liberalism. Both market fundamentalism and religious fundamentalism took their toll."

With essays by Mohan Rao, Sarah Sexton, Sumati Nair, Betsy Hartman and others, MARKETS AND MALTHUS is 368 pages in hardcover, Rs 795. ISBN: 9788132102977