From Chile to Brazil: Latin America’s fight for the rights of women

Source: Flickr/ Un violador en tu camino - Brasília Foto: Mídia NINJA

Dylan Gaymer

Trigger warning: The following reading includes a discussion of sexual assault and gendered violence.

Recent years have seen the issues of gendered violence and inequality brought to the fore throughout the world. Here in Australia, sexual misconduct allegations have rocked our highest public office and reverberated around the country. Demands for justice have culminated in thousands of people taking to the streets during the #March4Justice rallies in the capital cities. Throughout Latin America, recent movements have amassed international attention. From Chile's 'Un Violador en tu camino' demonstrations to Mexico's recent marches in the capital, denunciations of violence and discrimination perpetuated against women continue to gather momentum in Latin America and transcend borders.

Historical Background

Despite the challenges that persist with respect to the advancement of women's rights in Latin America, the region has a long feminist history stretching back two centuries. In the early 1800s, Ecuadorian woman, Manuela Sáenz, played a pivotal role at the beginning of the revolution for Latin American feminism, becoming a dominant precursor to women's emancipation in the Global South and beyond. Sáenz rose through the ranks of Simón Bolívar’s rebel army to become a powerful force not only in the fight for independence but as a promoter of anti-colonialism and the rights of women. Since then, key figures in feminist movements across Latin America have included Chilean journalist and poet Gabriela Mistral – who was the first Latin American to win a Nobel Prize in Literature, and feminist sociologist, Marcela Rios Tobar.

Current Movements