Monday, October 8

The Gender Agenda of the Pink Tide in Latin America

With the election of leftist leaders in many parts of Latin America, the subject of women seems to be coming up more frequently in public discourse. Hugo Chávez speaks about Venezuelan women as “revolutionary mothers,” Evo Morales presents Bolivian women as combatants and fighters, and Michelle Bachelet committed herself to addressing gender equality in Chile. Women are in the public spotlight and active as never before with the ascent of moderate to leftist leaders across the region. Yet what is the impact of this increased visibility on the lives and opportunities of women from diverse class and racial backgrounds? How do the more left wing and radical leaders differ from moderate leaders of the pink tide in their approach to issues of women’s rights?

The relationship of women to revolutionary movements is quite different today to what it was in the post-revolutionary contexts of Cuba in the 1960s and Nicaragua in the 1980s. In those earlier contexts, political leaders created state women’s agencies in order to promote women’s interests and rights within a broader project of state-building. Women of all classes participated in organizations such as the Federation of Cuban Women and the Luisa Amanda Espinoza Association of Nicaraguan Women. These organizations provided important scope for addressing gender inequalities, but women’s interests were often secondary to greater political goals of national unity and development.

By contrast, we find that under left wing governments in Latin America today, women are not organized en masse within state women’s organizations.

LINK: Read entire article at New Socialist
This article originally appeared on Znet

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