This paper explores forced and coerced sterilizations as a technology of gendered violence entangled in logics of development and population control. Across the planet, technologies of reproductive control have violently targeted the bodies of gendered and racialized others; bodies deemed inferior, degenerate, or abject according to situated standards of desirability. Family planning has often been deployed to halt the reproduction of despised bodies, culminating in targeted anti-natalist violence in the intimate space of reproduction. Focusing on the massive sterilization campaign that took place in Peru in the context of the National Plan for Reproductive Health and Family Planning – which disproportionately and violently targeted indigenous and campesina women – I show how far from being isolated and erratic events or dark memories from an ‘uncivilized’ time, forced and coerced contraception is part of global assemblages of gendered and racial violence. I argue that practices of international development and population control can work as reproductive technologies which violently (re)produce intervenable/sterilizable bodies. To do so I trace the practices, images, technologies, and objects which partially connect the sterilization program in Peru with similar programs in India, the Indonesia, the United States, China and beyond, and how they are entangled with and enacted by international development organizations, foreign aid agencies, local non-governmental organizations, and state institutions.
About the speaker
Ximena is a PhD candidate in International Relations and Political Science and Research Assistant at the Global Governance Center in the Graduate Institute. Her thesis investigates technologies of reproductive control and the production of intervenable/sterilizable bodies, looking in particular at forced and coerced sterilizations against marginalized peoples. At the Global Governance Center she investigates the privatization of expert knowledge in international organizations. Her research lies at the intersection of Feminist Security Studies, Science and Technology Studies, and International Political Sociology.