Women's vulnerability to HIV/AIDS in China: a case study for the engendering of human security discourse

PhD Thesis


Hayes, Anna. 2007. Women's vulnerability to HIV/AIDS in China: a case study for the engendering of human security discourse . PhD Thesis Doctor of Philosophy. University of Southern Queensland.
Title

Women's vulnerability to HIV/AIDS in China: a case study for the engendering of human security discourse

TypePhD Thesis
Authors
AuthorHayes, Anna
SupervisorMcMillen, Donald
Roberts, Rosemary
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameDoctor of Philosophy
Number of Pages356
Year2007
Abstract

[Abstract]: Since the 1990s, the discourse of security has undergone profound change. Rather than merely pertaining to a more traditional, narrow interpretation of security primarily focusing on nation-states instead of people, a human dimension, known as human security has been added. While such discussions on human security have attempted to encompass threats to humanity as a whole, interpretations of such threats have largely failed to recognise the exceptional threats faced by women. Although threats found in analytical discussions of human security do relate to women, it is imperative that a sharper focus be placed on the additional threats women face in terms of their security; ones that might become blurred in general discourse, such as economic, educational and employment disparities, gender discrimination, substandard healthcare, restricted access to healthcare facilities, human trafficking and male violence.

This dissertation seeks to provide a gendered analysis of human security, using women in China as its focus. To provide a focused examination, it takes a global source of human insecurity, HIV/AIDS, and examines why women in China are increasingly at risk from HIV/AIDS. In addition to assessing the impact that this pandemic poses for their security, it also attempts to investigate the social impacts HIV/AIDS is having on women in China and what measures the government has put in place to halt the spread of HIV/AIDS. The extent and nature of the role played by intergovernmental organisations (IGOs), non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and international non-governmental organisations (INGOs) in China’s HIV/AIDS epidemic is also explored.

This research was prompted by the limited nature of a gendered analysis in the mainstream human security literature, and the need to identify the unique threats to human security faced by women. The realisation that the ‘disempowered status’ of women increases their vulnerability to HIV/AIDS, and that HIV/AIDS is becoming a major source of insecurity for many women around the world (and in China in particular), provides a relevant focus for such an investigation.

KeywordsHIV/AIDS, human security, gender inequality, HIV transmission, the People's Republic of China, gender roles, enabling environments
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020440599. Gender studies not elsewhere classified
Byline AffiliationsDepartment of Humanities and International Studies
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