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Feminist Activism in Latin America

Julie Shayne


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Feminism has a variety of meanings. According to Nikki Craske, despite the often-heated debates about the meaning of feminism, most would likely concur with Rosalind Delmar's assessment that feminism attempts to transform women from object to subject, specifically with respect to knowledge. In other words, feminism and by extension feminist activism is about centering the lives of women. Sonia Alvarez (1990) , another leading scholar of Latin American feminisms, defines an act as feminist if it strives to transform social roles assigned to women while simultaneously challenging gender power arrangements, and advancing claims for women's rights to equality and personal autonomy. From Julie Shayne's research about the relationship between revolutionary and feminist mobilization she argues that in Latin America feminism is most accurately defined as “revolutionary feminism.” For Shayne, a revolutionary feminist movement is one born of revolutionary mobilization. Ideologically revolutionary feminists are committed to challenging sexism as inseparable from larger political institutions not explicitly perceived as patriarchal but entirely bound to the oppression of women. Or in the words of Salvadoran feminist activist Gloria Guzman, feminism is: a political struggle for the eradication … of women's subordination. It is a proposal for a change in the relations of power between people, ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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