2. Fighting machismo: women on the front line
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.
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.
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.
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
- Collyns, D. (2016) ‘Women vow to fight on in Peru after Alberto Fujimori absolved over forced sterilisations’, The Guardian
- Hernandez, V. (2012) ‘Argentine Mothers mark 35 years marching for justice’, BBC News
- Lizarzaburu, J. (2015) ‘Forced sterilisation haunts Peruvian women decades on’, BBC News
- López Levy, M. (2018) ‘#NiUnaMenos: ‘Now that you see us’, Latin America Bureau
- Palmer, R. (2017) ‘Ni Una Menos: An Uprising of Women in Argentina’, Culture Trip
- Waisman, V. (2018) ‘An alternative obituary for Efraín Ríos Montt’, Women’s Media Center
- McSheffrey, E. (2018) ‘Honduran women pay for rights with their lives’, Canada’s National Observer
Honduran coup and its effect on women
- Lakhani, N. (2016) ‘Did Hillary Clinton stand by as Honduras coup ushered in era of violence?’, The Guardian
- Zunes, Stephen. (2016) ‘The U.S. Role In The Honduras Coup And Subsequent Violence’, The Huffington Post
Eva Sánchez/Las Hormigas
- Radio Progreso (2016) ‘Las Hormigas: Constructoras de una Vida sin Violencia’, Radio Progreso (in Spanish)
- Redacción Criterio (2018) ‘Las Hormigas avanzan en lucha por posicionar agenda de mujeres en planes de gobiernos locales’, Criterio, (in Spanish)
Reproductive rights in El Salvador
- Kowalchuk, L. (2018) ‘The unspeakable cruelty of El Salvador’s abortion laws’, The Conversation
- Oberman, M. (2018) ‘The Consequences of El Salvador’s Abortion Ban’, Guernica