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Making sense of 'gender': from global HIV/AIDS strategy to the local Cambodian ground.

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journal contribution
posted on 24.10.2012, 08:55 by Emma-Louise Aveling
Interventions aiming to promote gender equality are a common feature of global HIV/AIDS policies. To develop effective interventions, it is important to understand how globally established concepts (e.g. 'gender') are (re)interpreted and legitimated locally. This paper examines what happens when the concept of 'gender' hits the local ground in the context of an internationally funded HIV/AIDS intervention in Cambodia. Interviews with participants reveal that 'gender' is itself understood to mean equal rights. Some elements of this concept are rejected as inapplicable in Khmer society, while others are hybridised with existing knowledges. The analysis demonstrates how relational, symbolic and material dimensions of the place into which HIV/AIDS programmes intervene shape not only what 'sense' participants make of new knowledge, but also their capacity to use it. Further, the paper argues that to achieve the desired health-enhancing outcomes, international health organisations must avoid essentialising local spaces as static and 'traditional'; rather, they must attend to and build on the ambiguities of existing knowledges and the changing dynamics of the places they enter.

History

Citation

Health & Place, 2012, 18 (3), pp. 461-467

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Published in

Health & Place

Publisher

Elsevier

issn

1353-8292

eissn

1873-2054

Copyright date

2011

Available date

24/10/2012

Publisher version

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1353829211001122

Language

eng