Resilience & Contagion: Invoking Rights in African HIV Advocacy

Dr. Kristi Kenyon photo

Dr. Kristi Kenyon, photo by Josh Boyter/Numbers Station Charlie

UWinnipeg’s Dr. Kristi Kenyon (Assistant Professor, Human Rights – Global College), will be speaking on Resilience and Contagion: Invoking Rights in African HIV Advocacy on Wednesday, February 8, 2017, at 12:30-1:30 p.m. in Room 4C60.  This event is presented by the Political Science Department Speakers Series. Admission is free and everyone is welcome.

Why have civil society organizations conducting HIV advocacy chosen to use the language of rights? This decision marks a change from dominant trends in health advocacy and is a surprising choice in the African context where rights language is frequently dismissed as foreign. Drawing on 145 semi-structured interviews, Kenyon conducted a comparative case study of nine civil society organizations working on HIV in four countries (South Africa, Botswana, Ghana, Uganda). She presents an explanation based on belief, leadership facilitated by organizational structure, and individual impact. While International Relations literature tends to begin at the international/global north when examining how concepts, frames and norms spread, this paper begins at the local, examining why, how and when groups adopt human rights language and how the concept is re-imagined in their hands.

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