We live in a country where women’s rights are being violated because abortion is totally illegal and women are being sentenced to 30-40 years in jail. And 78 percent of those being punished are young women.

“Feminism is a lifestyle; it’s a way of confronting reality differently and offering new proposals to make structural changes to our society. But feminists face a lot of criticism, stigma, stereotyping from other sectors of society in El Salvador. That’s especially true for young women who call themselves feminists.

“We have to recognize and value ourselves as women, but we shouldn’t insist that everyone call themselves a feminist. We have to respect those who don’t want to call themselves feminist but still live a life dedicated to those ideals. We have to respect those women too, because we don’t want to put that burden of labels on anyone.

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“The real challenge is to live like a feminist, whether or not we want to call it that. I think young women understand that better than the older generations. So we have to unite, those of who are the ‘intellectual feminists’ and those who are just starting in the feminist movement and don’t identify with old labels.”

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