Feminism in Latin America

Chilean women protest Pinochet

Feminism in Latin America is a collection of movements aimed at defining, establishing, and achieving equal political, economic, cultural, personal, and social rights for Latin American women. This includes seeking to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment. Those who practice feminism by advocating or supporting the rights and equality of women are called feminists. Latin American Feminism exists in the context of centuries of colonialism, the transportation and subjugation of slaves from Africa, and mistreatment of native people. The origins of Latin American Feminism can be traced back to the 1960s and 1970s social movements where it encompasses the women’s liberation movement, but prior feminist ideas have expanded before there were written records. With various regions in Latin America and the Caribbean, the definition of feminism varies across different groups where there has been cultural, political, and social involvement. The emergence of Latin American feminism movement is contributed to five key factors. … At the end of 1960s, many Latin American women started forming groups of reflection and activism for defending women’s rights. Initially, those women were from the middle class and a significant part came from the various left groups. Unlike their predecessors however, Latin American feminists of the 1960s focused on social justice rather than suffrage. They emphasized ‘reproductive rights, equal pay in the job market, and equality of legal rights.’ This type of Latin American feminism was a result of the activism of Latina women against their position of subordinance, not a reaction to women gaining more legal rights in the United States and Europe. As Gloria Anzaldúa said, we must put history ‘through a sieve, winnow out the lies, looks at the forces that we as a race, as women, have been part of.’ Such female groups arose amid the sharp radicalization of class struggles in the continent, which resulted in labor and mass rising. … For those reasons, Latin American feminist theorist Ros Tobar says that Chilean feminism is closely tied to socialism. Authoritarian regimes reinforced ‘the traditional family, and the dependent role of women, which is reduced to that of mother.’ Because dictatorships institutionalized social inequality, many Latin American feminists tie authoritarian governments with less rights for women. …”
Women in the Cuban Republic: from Democracy to Revolution
Revitalizing Feminism in the Dominican Republic
Day 13- Women’s Activism in South America


About 1960s: Days of Rage

Bill Davis - 1960s: Days of Rage
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