2. Fighting machismo: women on the front line

Abstract

Women in Latin America have made significant advances in every social and institutional field, being at the forefront of fights for justice. Yet cultural values have not caught up. Ingrained sexism permeates almost every aspect of daily life, so that women in the region face extreme forms of oppression and inequality.

This is manifest in some of the highest rates of femicide and sexual violence in the world, as well as draconian anti-abortion laws.

Index

About the Author

Louise Morris is a journalist, audio and TV producer. She specializes in women’s rights and the intersection between art and politics. Louise works primarily in radio, producing and presenting documentaries for BBC R4 and producing for NPR.

She previously worked producing a daily TV magazine programme. She has written for The Wire, Delayed Gratification and BBC News Online, among others.

Interviewees

Alicia Cawiya (vice president of the Huaorani people): interviewed in Quito and Puyo, Ecuador, on 16 and 20 August 2016 by Linda Etchart and James Thackara. Translated by Linda Etchart.

Patricia Gualinga (Sarayaku Kichwa activist): interviewed in Puyo, Ecuador, on 24 August 2016 by Linda Etchart and James Thackara. Translated by Linda Etchart.

María Teresa Rivera (Salvadorean reproductive rights activist): interviewed via Facebook Messenger on 15 January 2018 by Louise Morris. Translated by Matthew Kingston.

Eva Sánchez (Las Hormigas): interviewed in Intibucá, Honduras, on 26 October 2016 by Louise Morris. Translated by Louise Morris.

References

NB: All web references were checked and still available in May/June 2018 unless otherwise stated.

BBC News (2017) ‘Honduras on “red alert” over female murders, say activists’, 6 July

Belli, G. (2016) ‘Why has “macho” Latin America elected more female leaders than the US?’, The Guardian, 7 November

Bott, S., Guedes, A., Goodwin, M. and Mendoza, J.A. (2012) Violence Against Women in Latin America and the Caribbean: A Comparative Analysis of Population-Based Data from 12 Countries, Pan American Health Organization,Washington DC

Clavel, T. (2018) ‘Why Latin America dominates global homicide rankings’, InSight Crime, 12 March

Driver, A. (2017) ‘What women’s lives are like when abortion is a crime’, CNN, 5 October

Goudreau, J. (2011) ‘The Ten Worst Stereotypes About Powerful Women’, Forbes, 24 October

Lakhani, N. (2017) ‘El Salvador teen rape victim sentenced to 30 years in prison after stillbirth’, The Guardian, 6 July

Phillips, T. (2018) ‘“Breathtaking homicidal violence”: Latin America in grip of murder crisis’, The Guardian, 26 April

Sherwell, P. (2015) ‘El Salvador’s Las 17: the women jailed for 30 years for losing their babies by miscarriage’, The Telegraph, 16 February

Tello Rozas, P. and Floru, C. (2017) ‘Women’s political participation in Latin America: some progress and many challenges’, Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA), 7 March

VOA (2017) ‘OAS chief: violence against Latin America’s women a “never-ending story”’, 7 November

Waiselfisz, J.J. (2015) Mapa da violência 2015: homicídio de mulheres no Brasil, FLACSO, Brasília

WHO (2012) ‘Understanding and addressing violence against women’, World Health Organization

Yagoub, M. (2017) ‘How violence against women fuels more crime’, InSight Crime, 8 March

Videos

Chocolate Remix: Lo que las mujeres quieren

Lesbian Reggaeton: 'Lo que las mujeres quieren' (What girls want). With English subtitles. Chocolate Remix is the reggaetón project...

El Salvador: the world’s worst place to have an abortion

Ben Zand investigates the controversial case of Evelyn Hernandez, a Salvadoran teenager raped by a gang member and then jailed for...

El Salvador: from miscarriage to murder

Abortion law in El Salvador recognises no distinction between intentional abortion and unintentional miscarriage, applying jail sentences to both. SBS...

Honduras: Yorleni’s story

Yorleni is one of the women who has benefited from the Legal Advice Centre run by Las Hormigas ('The Ants'), the Intibuca...

Honduras: Las Hormigas in action against femicide in Intibucá.

The streets witnessed demonstrations against violence against women in Honduras. In La Esperanza, Intibucá, the feminist organization Las Hormigas celebrated this day in the...

Honduras: Femicide Part 1 – The most dangerous country to be...

To view this video click here. Juju Chang reports from Honduras, the most dangerous country on earth in which to be a woman. She documents...

Further reading

General

Femicide

Honduran coup and its effect on women

Eva Sánchez/Las Hormigas

Reproductive rights in El Salvador

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