LSTM Home > LSTM Research > LSTM Online Archive

The Catholic Church and reproductive health and rights in Timor-Leste: contestation, negotiation and cooperation.

Dusabe-Richards, Esther (2014) 'The Catholic Church and reproductive health and rights in Timor-Leste: contestation, negotiation and cooperation.'. Culture, Health & Sexuality, Vol 17, Issue 3, pp. 343-358.

Full text not available from this repository.


In Timor-Leste, high fertility, high maternal mortality and low levels of contraceptive prevalence demonstrate the importance of exploring perceptions, policies and practices around reproductive health and rights. This paper explores the influence of the Catholic Church on reproductive decision-making at different levels of policy and practice. Utilising a feminist qualitative research methodology, in-depth interviews were conducted with a range of participants including nuns and priests, Timorese women and men of different ages and backgrounds and local and national stakeholders working in reproductive health and women's rights. Findings reveal that the Church is reported to play a significant role in reproductive health and rights decision-making at all levels of society, from policy-making to the reproductive decisions made by individual Timorese women and men. Nevertheless, the translation of Church teachings into practice, particularly by nuns, priests and Timorese men and women, reveal a range of attitudes and opinions; some that support and others that contest official Catholic doctrine. In light of the significant influence of the Timorese Catholic Church on policy and practice at many levels of society, there is a need to prioritise the development of rights-based strategies to improve reproductive health services in Timor-Leste.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: WA Public Health > WA 30 Socioeconomic factors in public health (General)
WA Public Health > Health Administration and Organization > WA 550 Family planning
Faculty: Department: Clinical Sciences & International Health > International Public Health Department
Digital Object Identifer (DOI):
Depositing User: Faye Moody
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2014 10:48
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2018 13:08


View details

Actions (login required)

Edit Item Edit Item