Sistren in Parliament: Addressing Abortion and Women's Rights Through Popular Theatre

MaComere, Journal of the Association of Caribbean Women Writers and Scholars, Vol. 11, pp. 45-60, December 2009

17 Pages Posted: 27 Jan 2011 Last revised: 24 Feb 2012

See all articles by Taitu Heron

Taitu Heron

University of the West Indies (Cave Hill)

Danielle Toppin

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Lana Finikin

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: December 1, 2009

Abstract

This brief paper gives an account of advocacy activities of a select group of women's organisations in Jamaica (and the wider Caribbean) to influence parliamentary debate surrounding reform of legal provisions of the conditions under which an abortion may be procured. The paper address the key issues of public health risks to women, religious opposition, and ethics surrounding the debate which took place over a two year period (2007-2009). The paper does this by focusing on the performance of Sistren Theatre Collective, who made a historic appearance to members of Jamaican parliament using dance, song and drama to bring across the points of social injustice, stigma and unsafe abortion in the lives of many Jamaican women.

Keywords: popular theatre, women's reproductive health & rights, legislative reform

JEL Classification: I18, J71

Suggested Citation

Heron, Taitu and Toppin, Danielle and Finikin, Lana, Sistren in Parliament: Addressing Abortion and Women's Rights Through Popular Theatre (December 1, 2009). MaComere, Journal of the Association of Caribbean Women Writers and Scholars, Vol. 11, pp. 45-60, December 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1748110 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1748110

Taitu Heron (Contact Author)

University of the West Indies (Cave Hill) ( email )

Cave Hill
Barbados

Danielle Toppin

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Lana Finikin

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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