Jolien Gijbels
Kaat Wils

Ganck on nineteenth-century gynaecology in Brussels is one of the sole examples of historical scholarship on medicine’s role in the production of gendered cultural representations. 8 Feminists’ activism to legalise birth control and abortion in Belgium – the third and last theme of this chapter – has received most historical attention, yet their medically informed

in Medical histories of Belgium
Open Access (free)
Neil McNaughton

women through changes within the existing social order. Three important developments in Britain (all of which were also supported by the militant feminists) occurred in the 1960s and 1970 to give a boost to the liberal movement and set it on the way to further successes. The birth control pill became widely available after 1967. This heralded in a period of sexual liberation for women, which became the centrepiece of a more general youth liberation movement (the so-called ‘hippy’ or ‘flower power’ era). It resulted in two developments. The first was that married women

in Understanding British and European political issues
Ensuring adolescent knowledge and access to healthcare in the age of Gillick
Hannah J.  Elizabeth

! […] the other way to prevent pregnancy? You can use a method of birth control. 45 The feature then offered a detailed discussion of multiple methods of birth control, before explaining: All these methods are free and can be given to you by your family doctor (except the sheath) or by your local family planning clinic or Brook Advisory Centre. […] Whatever your age nobody need know you have asked for help or advice. The

in Posters, protests, and prescriptions
Open Access (free)
Chris Toumey

shows us that Faith 257 certain Christian leaders felt that they needed to control film content, and later to merely evaluate it, especially cinematic depictions of science. Topics of sexually transmitted diseases, birth control, eugenics, evolution and psychiatry aroused their disapproval, which would then lead to government bodies that would channel religious sentiment into government censorship. It is a relief to me that Kirby and Chambers do not try to measure movie science against realistic science. That might have been tempting, but it would have distracted

in Science and the politics of openness
Open Access (free)
Joris Vandendriessche
Tine Van Osselaer

Connubii was published, in which the Vatican definitely dismissed all kinds of birth control practices. According to Betta, the Vatican outlined its views on the reproductive body in this period not only as a reaction to an expanding medical discourse on the reproductive body in society, but also as an attempt to produce its own modern norms. 60 While the construction of Catholic

in Medical histories of Belgium

Anglophobia in Fascist Italy traces the roots of Fascist Anglophobia from the Great War and through the subsequent peace treaties and its development during the twenty years of Mussolini’s regime. Initially, Britain was seen by many Italians as a ‘false friend’ who was also the main obstacle to Italy’s foreign policy aspirations, a view embraced by Mussolini and his movement. While at times dormant, this Anglophobic sentiment did not disappear in the years that followed, and was later rekindled during the Ethiopian War. The peculiarly Fascist contribution to the assessment of Britain was ideological. From the mid-1920s, the regime’s intellectuals saw Fascism as the answer to a crisis in the Western world and as irredeemably opposed to Western civilisation of the sort exemplified by Britain. Britain was described as having failed the ‘problem of labour’, and Fascism framed as a salvation ideology, which nations would either embrace or face decay. The perception of Britain as a decaying and feeble nation increased after the Great Depression. The consequence of this was a consistent underrating of British power and resolve to resist Italian ambitions. An analysis of popular reception of the Fascist discourse shows that the tendency to underrate Britain had permeated large sectors of the Italian people, and that public opinion was more hostile to Britain than previously thought. Indeed, in some quarters hatred towards the British lasted until the end of the Second World War, in both occupied and liberated Italy.

Britain in the Nordicist/Mediterraneanist debate
Jacopo Pili

and homosexuality.46 Another author talked instead of the British abuse of pornography, which brought much money to the pockets of Jewish pornography mongers.47 The two themes of the British ‘antibiological’ mind-set and the terrible influence those values had worldwide because of their export by Britain were later expanded by other authors. Regarding birth control, there could hardly have been an easier target for Fascist criticism. Ironically, the fears and goals of the British birth control, or Malthusian, movement were quite similar to those of the Italian

in Anglophobia in Fascist Italy
Open Access (free)
The Algerian war and the ‘emancipation’ of Muslim women, 1954–62

In May 1958, and four years into the Algerian War of Independence, a revolt again appropriated the revolutionary and republican symbolism of the French Revolution by seizing power through a Committee of Public Safety. This book explores why a repressive colonial system that had for over a century maintained the material and intellectual backwardness of Algerian women now turned to an extensive programme of 'emancipation'. After a brief background sketch of the situation of Algerian women during the post-war decade, it discusses the various factors contributed to the emergence of the first significant women's organisations in the main urban centres. It was only after the outbreak of the rebellion in 1954 and the arrival of many hundreds of wives of army officers that the model of female interventionism became dramatically activated. The French military intervention in Algeria during 1954-1962 derived its force from the Orientalist current in European colonialism and also seemed to foreshadow the revival of global Islamophobia after 1979 and the eventual moves to 'liberate' Muslim societies by US-led neo-imperialism in Afghanistan and Iraq. For the women of Bordj Okhriss, as throughout Algeria, the French army represented a dangerous and powerful force associated with mass destruction, brutality and rape. The central contradiction facing the mobile socio-medical teams teams was how to gain the trust of Algerian women and to bring them social progress and emancipation when they themselves were part of an army that had destroyed their villages and driven them into refugee camps.


The book explores the relationship between violence against women on one hand, and the rights to health and reproductive health on the other. It argues that violation of the right to health is a consequence of violence, and that (state) health policies might be a cause of – or create the conditions for – violence against women. It significantly contributes to feminist and international human rights legal scholarship by conceptualising a new ground-breaking idea, violence against women’s health (VAWH), using the Hippocratic paradigm as the backbone of the analysis. The two dimensions of violence at the core of the book – the horizontal, ‘interpersonal’ dimension and the vertical ‘state policies’ dimension – are investigated through around 70 decisions of domestic, regional and international judicial or quasi-judicial bodies (the anamnesis). The concept of VAWH, drawn from the anamnesis, enriches the traditional concept of violence against women with a human rights-based approach to autonomy and a reflection on the pervasiveness of patterns of discrimination (diagnosis). VAWH as theorised in the book allows the reconceptualisation of states’ obligations in an innovative way, by identifying for both dimensions obligations of result, due diligence obligations, and obligations to progressively take steps (treatment). The book eventually asks whether it is not international law itself that is the ultimate cause of VAWH (prognosis).

Johanna Gondouin
Suruchi Thapar-Björkert
, and
Ingrid Ryberg

and decisions of those who are considering surrogacy (Riggs and Due, 2010; 2013; van den Akker et al., 2016), as well as surrogacy law and policy (Millbank, 2012). In Western feminist thought, the notion of reproductive rights, centred around values such as choice and bodily autonomy, have primarily regarded the right to access birth control such as contraceptives and abortion. However, in the current context of declining fertility rates in the Global North, reproduction is increasingly valued (Eng, 2010), and new reproductive technologies (ARTs) enable new claims

in The power of vulnerability