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Hamilton College

Publication Date

Spring 2017

Program Name

Argentina: Social Movements and Human Rights


In order to serve the ‘public’, public health services must be accessible to everyone, without discrimination based on race, gender, social class, or geographic location, among other facets of identity. Reproductive health services, in particular, are a key service that must be adequately supplied in order to guarantee the health and wellbeing of a population. Reproductive healthcare not only allows individuals to decide if and when they wish to have a child, it also contributes to cancer prevention and the detrimental effects of sexually transmitted diseases. This investigation examines the experiences of Guaraní women that live within “Villa 31” of Buenos Aires with the city’s public reproductive health services to examine whether the city is fulfilling its duty to provide adequate public healthcare to all. The women interviewed occupy multiple identities marginalized within the culture of Buenos Aires, including their ethnic identity as part of ‘los pueblos originarios’ and their location within Villa 31, an area of the city stigmatized by the greater population. Through a qualitative analysis of lived experience, this paper identifies whether Guaraní women in Villa 31 have experienced barriers in access to services and in what areas health services can be improved to ensure their full accessibility.

Through interviews with five Guaraní women within Villa 31 several barriers to access were identified. ‘Accessibility’, in this paper, is defined using the theories of Frenk (1984) and Aday & Andersen (1974). The existence of the CAPS (lCentros de Atención Primaría a la Salud) inside of the community was found to alleviate many barriers to access, but some still remain. The primary ways in which accessibility was found to be lacking to this population were the location of the public hospital outside of the barrio and the difficulty in its access, the large amount of time it takes to access pap smear results, the time it takes to get an appointment within the public hospital, and finally, discrimination.


Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Family, Life Course, and Society | Family Medicine | Health Policy | Latin American Languages and Societies | Latin American Studies | Medicine and Health | Obstetrics and Gynecology | Women's Health | Women's Studies



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