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Earlham College

Publication Date

Spring 2013

Program Name

Rwanda: Post-Genocide Restoration and Peacebuilding

Abstract

In examining the increasing influence of states in contemporary society, this paper explores the concept of biopower, particularly in the area of sexual health, as a critical control mechanism that solidifies state legitimacy. By turning control mechanisms inwards, into minds and physical bodies, the state utilizes its monopoly over the legitimate use of symbolic violence to convince citizens of the assumed universality of structures and mindsets that solidify state power. Reproductive health has emerged as a crucial site of consolidating state control, perpetuating the assumed necessity of state regulation of bodies for the betterment of the nation. In Rwanda, with a need for a secure, controlled country in the aftermath of the 1994 genocide, myriad programs developed to promote these state priorities. This paper examines the impact of the state on reproductive health programs in Rwanda, using a Ministry of Health-sponsored youth center called Maison des Jeunes de Kimisagara as a case study. It attempts to review the purposeful choices made about what information to distribute regarding sexual and reproductive health and the resulting impacts of those choices.

Disciplines

Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Public Health | Public Health Education and Promotion

 

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