Women and Neoliberalism-Historical Background. Why called neoliberal? With the return of democracy in Latin America in the 1980s, governments had to deal with a series of economic crises:
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Increased the percentage of poor people from 35% in 1980 to 41% in 1990
Impact varied from country to country, but Chile most affected because both military and later democratic governments had long advocated neo-liberal policies-during 1980s percentage of poor people rose to more than 40%
Another way to explain impact—top 10% of the population earned 45% of income while bottom 5% earned 4% of GNP
Women did not accept the impact of neoliberalism without challenging it
Many social movements were responses to neoliberalism: organization of soup kitchens, neighborhood movements, demand for better health care etc.
Middle class women also impacted by neoliberalism as their incomes rapidly disappeared—different strategies: Continental feminist meetings as well as UN sponsored meetings dealt with these issues to pressure governments