LIMA, Peru— For some women, it’s a lesbian thing. For others, it’s about gender identity, personal empowerment, community action, or a woman’s right to a life without violence. For many, it’s all those things at once.
Latin America’s feminist movements are as wondrously diverse as the region itself. In indigenous highland communities, young feminists talk about a syncretic “eco-feminism” influenced by Pachamama, while university students in the city call for a new brand of “trans-feminism.” And that’s just in Peru.
In Uruguay, feminists organize campaigns against WhatsApp bullying and modern expressions of cyber-machismo, while in El Salvador they fight against antiquated and draconian laws that put women behind bars for suffering a miscarriage. In Argentina, some feminists consider the government their ally in a leftward push for women’s rights. While in Nicaragua, most feminist leaders are just trying to hold the line against a dogmatic government that views the women’s movement as its enemy.
There’s also a generational divide; the issues facing today’s feminist movement in democratic Chile are not the same as those from the dark days of military dictatorship 35 years ago.
There are also many strong ties that bind feminist movements across space and time. But that’s enough from me, some guy from Boston. It’s time to pass the conch to those who give life to the feminist movements in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Here’s what 18 young feminists from around the region have to say about the issues facing women in their countries, and what it means to be a young feminist in a machista society. Click on their face to get their story.