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Women in Nationalist and Socialist Revolutions. What do we mean by “nationalist” revolutions?—Revolutions that are not imposed by outside ideologies and create changes that a wide group (although not necessarily all) agree with

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women in nationalist and socialist revolutions
Women in Nationalist and Socialist Revolutions
  • What do we mean by “nationalist” revolutions?—Revolutions that are not imposed by outside ideologies and create changes that a wide group (although not necessarily all) agree with
  • Usually occur after independence in Latin America—in the 20th century
  • Countries with Nationalist Revolutions in Latin America= Mexico, 1910; Argentina, 1946; Bolivia, 1952
mexico 1910
Mexico, 1910
  • No direct feminist leadership. Leaders included Francisco Madero, Venustiano Carranza, Alvaro Obregón, Pancho Villa, Emilio Zapata
  • Revolution began in 1910 and lasted 20 years with many casualties and tremendous violence and unrest
  • Men were perceived to be more “feminist” than women. Carranza passed the Family Laws in 1914 which permitted divorce, shared patria potestad
  • Feminist men also seen on local level
  • Prime example, Felipe Carillo Puerto, governor of state of Yucatán from 1922 until his death in 1924
felipe carrillo puerto
Came from a working class background

Learned Mayan language

Supported earlier revolutionary governors

Believed in land reform and feminism

Felipe Carrillo Puerto
carrillo puerto s revolutionary ideas
Gave women suffrage

Passed a divorce law

Encouraged the idea of birth control

Created feminist leagues

Promoted revolutionary tribunals

Carrillo Puerto’s revolutionary ideas
feminism in yucat n
Feminism in Yucatán
  • Traditionally seen as more conservative than the men
  • Led by Elvira Carrillo Puerto, sister of the governor and known as the Red Nun
  • Began organizing in 1912 and was influenced by an anarchist priest—began reading about women revolutionaries
  • First woman to be elected to the provincial legislature but had to resign after death threats-1922– one of two women elected
  • Supported the rights of single mothers
  • Died in 1968 at age of 90
what about poor women
What about poor women?
  • Took advantage of revolutionary tribunals and the right to divorce
  • Began complaining of spousal abuse
  • After 1924 more conservative governors made it difficult for local women to obtain divorces
  • Became harder for foreigners to get divorces there after 1924
other feminist revolutionary activities in mexico
Other feminist revolutionary activities in Mexico
  • Feminist Congresses in Yucatan in 1916
    • First feminist meetings in all of Mexico
    • Mayan women could not attend—standard set by 6 grade education
  • Women involved in literacy projects during the revolution and in the 30s
  • After the revolution more women’s organizations developed in Mexico City—included motherist movements as well as feminist organizations
  • Women also join anti-feminist religious movements like Cristero Rebellion 1926 to protect the Church
were there lasting benefits for women as a result of the mexican revolution
Were there lasting benefits for women as a result of the Mexican Revolution?
  • Most women didn’t know they could share patria potestad
  • Female education for the poor began in 1930s, not during the revolution
  • Women didn’t get national suffrage until the 1953
  • There have been few powerful female politicians
  • Birth control not a national necessity until 1974
argentina 1946
Argentina, 1946
  • Election of Juan Perón as president
  • First president supported by the workers as well as by the military
  • First open election in Argentina since 1930
  • Feminists did not back Perón
  • They certainly did not consider his wife Eva Perón to be a feminist, and she did not define herself as such
juan s role
Juan’s role
  • Help political office
  • Controlled the workers and the military
  • Defined the legislative agenda
  • Had political legitimacy
  • Used charisma and his office to advance his political agendas
evita s role
Evita’s role
  • Defined herself as “a bridge of love” between the people and Perón
  • Used female imagery to define power—clothing and jewels showed how other women could have social mobility if she could
  • Supported Perón’s support for female suffrage-obtained 1947
  • Created the Women’s Peronist Party under her leadership in 1949 to promote the popularity of Perón
  • Founded her own charity organization the Eva Perón Foundation to limit the power of the elitist Sociedad de Beneficencia
how did women benefit from peronism
How did women benefit from Peronism?
  • Female literacy began to expand
  • Universities open to free admission for both men and women
  • Women received same pay as men
  • Women could vote after 1947
  • Women had a female role model in a position of influence, if not authority
  • Eva’s presence began to diminish after she became ill with cancer and had to forgo running for Vice-President with Perón in 1952 elections—died that year
bolivian revolution 1952
Bolivian Revolution 1952
  • First Latin American revolution since World War II
  • Beginning of Cold War Era
  • All of this had little to do with conditions in Bolivia or with feminism—First wave of feminism in Latin America ended around 1940
  • Led by a mixture of disgruntled army officers, oppressed tin miners, unhappy politicians and intellectuals
  • Wanted to incorporate the disenfranchised indigenous population, expropriate the tin mines, end feudal Indian obligations—almost nothing said about women’s rights
what benefits did the bolivian revolution bring to women
What benefits did the Bolivian revolution bring to women?
  • Helped indigenous women as well as men
  • Gave women female suffrage in 1952
  • Enabled Lydia Gueiler Tejada to become Bolivia’s first President from 1979-80. She had been a national deputy and president of the Chamber of Deputies. She was deposed in 1980.
women and revolutionary governments
Women and Revolutionary governments
  • How do we define revolutionary movements? Political movements intent upon a radical change in government and society
  • Since the Cold War also defined in terms of attachment to ideologies: Socialist, Marxist, etc.
  • One of best examples: Cuban Revolution of 1959-
  • Fidel Castro overthrew Fulgencio Batista, a dictator long supported by the United States and has remained head of state ever since.
women and the cuban revolution
Women and the Cuban Revolution
  • Cuban women participated in the 1959 revolution as leaders and guerrilla fighters.
  • Most of the women who helped lead the revolution did not live to take part in its later phases.
  • Women organized into the Cuban Women’s Federation and they represent women
  • Cuban Family Law 1975 attempted to deal with patriarchy
  • Until recently, few Cuban women with children worked outside the home
che guevara on women
Che Guevara on Women
  • Wrote that women were essential to the development of the revolutionary tasks
  • “The women is capable of performing the most difficult tasks, of fighting beside the men; and…she does not create conflicts of a sexual type in the troops.”
  • Most important role was to provide communication by slipping in unnoticed by the enemy.
  • Women should have a central role in promoting revolutionary schools
che guevara on women and revolution con t
Che Guevara on Women and Revolution, con’t.
  • “The woman plays an important part in medical matters as nurse, and even as doctor, with a gentleness infinitely superior to that of her rude companion in arms, a gentleness that is so much appreciated at moments when a man is helpless, without comforts, perhaps suffering severe pain….”
  • “Once the stage of creating small war industries has begun, the woman can also contribute here, especially in the manufacture of uniforms, a traditional employment of women in Latin American countries. With a simple sewing machine and a few patterns she can perform marvels.”
women s benefits from the cuban revolution
Women’s Benefits from the Cuban Revolution
  • Free medical care and education for women and their children
  • Until 1998 highest proportion of women serving as legislators in Chambers of Deputies
  • Women able to serve in public and private professions except in Cuban Cabinet.
background on nicaraguan revolution
Background on Nicaraguan Revolution
  • Nicaragua had been occupied several times by US troops during the early 20th century
  • Opposition led by Agusto Sandino, early revolutionary who began to become active in 1926. Killed by Somoza troops in 1934.
  • Connected with Communist Party
  • Became hero of pro-revolutionary forces in Nicaragua in 1970s who opposed Somoza’s son, particularly after the 1974 earthquake
women in the nicaraguan revolution
Women in the Nicaraguan Revolution
  • Approximately 1/3 of all combatants were female, including leadership
  • Women like Daisy Zamora became leaders in the post-Revolution government as Vice-Minister of Government
  • Also a noted painter, poet and psychologist
  • Monica Baltodano became Guerrilla Commander of Nicaraguan forces and later served as legislator as late as the 1990s
violeta chamorro uno and the conservative response
Became president in elections that overthrew the Sandino rebel leaders

Widow of influential anti-Somoza newspaper owner

Ran his paper after 1978

Originally part of Sandinista government

Eventually opposed them and won as opposition president 1990-1996

Violeta Chamorro, UNO, and the Conservative Response