Vanesa Giraldo Gartner

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Massachusetts, Amherst, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 9997

Approve Date

August 26, 2020

Project Title

Giraldo Gartner, Vanesa (Massachusetts, Amherst, U. of) "Governing Reproduction in War and Peace: Contraception, Abortion, and Maternity among Ex-Combatants in Colombia"

This research analyzes the reproductive experiences of ex-combatant women of the FARC who demobilized before and after the 2016 peace agreement. Reproductive politics have been at the center of war and peace in Colombia. The government has alleged that mandatory contraception and forced abortions were ordinary forms of sexual violence against women in the FARC, who made up to 40% of the fighting force. During peace negotiations (2012-2016), however, female leaders of the FARC responded to these accusations, arguing that being a mother was a choice and not an obligation for revolutionary women. This research complicates the narrative of victims versus rebels by analyzing the centrality of governing women’s reproductive lives in war and peace. Through ethnographic and archival methods, I ask 1) How did women experience, contest, and assimilate sexual and reproductive policies in the FARC? 2) What are the consequences of these policies in the aftermath of violence? 3) How did the debate on abortion in the FARC influence female fighters’ participation in the peace process? I aim to contribute to the concept of reproductive governance through the focus of decolonial theories that approach the mutual constitution of the regulation of life and death in violent contexts.