The Dynamics of Counter-Hegemony: Women's Participation in the Population Policy Debate and Advocacy Process in the Philippines

This study intends to focus on the muted and unexamined perspectives of grassroots women on reproductive and sexual health and rights in the Philippines. It serves as a follow-up to the researcher’s doctoral dissertation, Catholic Church Hegemony Amidst Contestation: Politics and Population Policy in the Philippines (2011). The dissertation provided a political history of the population policy process spanning five administrations. It demonstrated how the Philippine Catholic Church was able to influence the nature of the policy debate and advocacy process through its allies in Congress and from segments of civil society (e.g. Church-based groups like Couples for Christ and coalitions like Pro-Life Philippines). Using a perspective proposed by Antonio Gramsci, it argued that the Church’s emboldened involvement in the policy process, a recurring scenario given its strong ties with influential policy stakeholders from both public and private sectors of Philippine society, was emblematic of its sustained drive to preserve ideological and political ascendancy amidst opposition and despite regime change.

Women’s involvement in the policy debate and advocacy process was mentioned in the dissertation. Nonetheless, the subject was cursorily examined at best. By the same token, women’s perspectives (poor women, most notably) on sexual and reproductive rights have yet to be documented and analyzed in depth. One of the objectives of this study is to demystify and locate these marginalized and muted perspectives within the ongoing population management, reproductive health, and family planning policy debate.

Name of Awardee: 

Enrique Niño P. Leviste

Year Awarded: 


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