PieperMooney3-09 - CENTER FOR THE EDUCATION OF WOMEN,...

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Unformatted text preview: CENTER FOR THE EDUCATION OF WOMEN, UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 330 E. LIBERTY ST. ANN ARBOR, MI 48104 734/764‐6005 WWW.CEW.UMICH.EDU Feminist Activism and Women’s Rights Mobilization in the Chilean Círculo de Estudios de la Mujer : Beyond Maternalist Mobilization March, 2009 Jadwiga E. Pieper Mooney, Ph.D. Department of History, University of Arizona Jean Campbell Visiting Scholar, Center for the Education of Women, 2008 1 Abstract This case study of women’s mobilization under authoritarian rule in Chile exposes some of the challenges in the history of women’s definition of a liberation language and of subsequent activist strategies for rights. It adopts a gendered lens to analyze the distinct contributions Chilean women have made in defense of human rights as they helped shape a new human rights practice in Chile. Examining a pioneering women’s organization under the Pinochet Dictatorship (1973-1989), the Círculo de Estudios de La Mujer (Women's Studies Circle), it shows how women redefined their responsibilities and rights when the regime prohibited previous patterns of political participation. Circulo activists built new foundations for a mobilization in favor of “mothers’ rights,” connected to traditional gender-based responsibilities and family life. They helped lay the foundation for new paradigms of women’s political participation and quest for citizenship rights when male breadwinners were absent or silenced by the military: they linked “mothers’ rights” to women’s rights and to women’s individual claims to civil liberties.** Introduction In 1979, hidden in plain sight at the Academia de Humanismo Cristiano (Academy of Christian Humanism) in the midst of the terror of military dictatorship, a small group of Santiago feminists decided to use their political connections and friendships to announce a meeting “to discuss the situation of women in Chile.” 1 These women were the founding members of the Círculo de Estudios de La Mujer (Women's Studies Circle), 2 a group committed to collective learning, to promoting self-awareness, and to challenging the authoritarian society in which they lived. Despite the difficulties of mobilizing under harsh military rule and the climate of violence that pervaded every aspect of Chilean life, attendance at the first Círculo meeting exceeded all expectations: approximately three hundred women answered the call. 3 Braving streets still far from peaceful, they came from different Santiago neighborhoods and from diverse class backgrounds. 1 Abstract This case study of women’s mobilization under authoritarian rule in Chile exposes some of the challenges in the history of women’s definition of a liberation language and of subsequent activist strategies for rights. It adopts a gendered lens to analyze the distinct contributions Chilean women have made in defense of human rights as they helped shape a new human rights practice in Chile. Examining a pioneering women’s organization...
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This note was uploaded on 02/21/2010 for the course GEO 420k taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '08 term at University of Texas.

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PieperMooney3-09 - CENTER FOR THE EDUCATION OF WOMEN,...

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