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On-line version ISSN 1807-5762
MATTAR, Laura Davis and DINIZ, Carmen Simone Grilo. Reproductive hierarchies: motherhood and inequalities in women's exercising of human rights. Interface (Botucatu) [online]. 2012, vol.16, n.40, pp.107-120. Epub Mar 06, 2012. ISSN 1807-5762. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1414-32832012005000001.
Starting from the contemporary concept of human rights, this paper discusses reproductive rights and motherhood. After presenting the history and definition of reproductive rights and sexual rights, the paper covers voluntary, safe, socially supported and pleasurable motherhood in order to reflect on 'reproductive hierarchies'. It argues that different characteristics among mothers, such as race, social class, age and sexual partnership, determine the legitimacy and social acceptance of motherhood, as well as how it is experienced. The greater the number of "negative" characteristics presented by the mother (or the couple) in exercising motherhood and/or reproduction, the closer to the bottom of the hierarchical pyramid she will be and, moreover, the greater her difficulty in exercising her human rights will be. The paper concludes that public policies providing social support to motherhood are needed for all women making this choice, without distinction, with the aim of promoting the exercising of human rights.
Keywords : Motherhood; Human rights; Feminism; Discrimination; Public policies; Reproductive rights.