Christine Peralta

Ph.D. Student Department of History University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

2016 to 2017
Research Fellow

Labor Pains: Working Class Women's Access to Healthcare in the Philippines, 1898-1950

My dissertation, Labor Pains, examines the history of medicine and gender in the U.S. and the Philippines. The project is broken into two parts. First, I look at how modern medicine impacted Filipino women, specifically non-elite women. I define non-elite as women who were categorized by the state as poor, provincial, or indigenous. Second, I look at the ways in which non-elite women created agency for themselves from the period of 1898 to1950. Currently, the literature has focused predominately on the actions of elite women who emigrated and permanently settled in the U.S, but by focusing on the historical narratives of non-elite women who stayed in the Philippines, and their experiences with the health care system established by the U.S., I will be able to provide a comprehensive explanation as to why Filipino women have historically had such poor access to adequate medical care.