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Women in revolutions

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Elena Olascoaga

on 18 March 2014

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Transcript of Women in revolutions

WHY do women participate?
Gender Dimensions
Women in revolutions
Zapatista Case Study
Maoist Case Study
What do women gain from participating in revolutions that have an egalitarian society as their goal?
'Woman-in-the- family' or patriarchal model of revolution
'Women's emancipation' or modernizing model
Personal Reflections
What do they want or hope to improve?
How do they participate?
Why do women participate?
What challenges they face?
Revolutions classified in terms of gender outcomes
Valentine N. Moghadam

1) Under official nationalism to represent homogeneity

2) Cultural transmitters

3) War rape
Women’s bodies drawn in three ways:
Practical Interests
Strategic Interests
Molyneux and Moser
"Poor women do not only fight for 'survival', in their struggle over needs, they also shift prevailing understandings of gender and development as they collectively resist the forms of power that are present in patriarchy and the development establishment"

Escobar and Alvarez
Who are they?
What do they want?
Land, Equality, Social justice, Democracy, Freedom, Indigenous rights, Food, Shelter, Autonomy, Control of natural resources
Denounce the situation lived by indigenous communities

Demand a Mexican society that embraces multiculturalism

Question government neoliberal policies
Zapatista Women!
Brief timeline

Social movement

Women Revolutionary Law
January 1, 1994

Public appareance
'Low intensity'
San Andres
Extension to Women's Revolutionary
Present their demands at the Mexican National Congress

Presentation of Revolutionary Law for Women
First Encounter
of Zapatista
Zapatista Silent Rising
Why the limited outcome for Zapatista women?
“Even though Zapatista women have had a fundamental role in the resistance…respect for their rights is still, in some cases, just a declaration on paper.”
"When women presented their law to the Clandestine Revolutionary Indigenous Committee (CCRI), some men cheered loudly that the law was written in Spanish, so their women would not understand it"
Sub comandante Marcos 1995 quoted by Jules Falquet 1999
Sub-comandante Marcos
Revolutionary Law for Women
Who are they?
Far-left Communist political
party and its military capacity
(People’s Liberation Army: PLA)

Widely supported by marginalised ethnic, caste group
What do they want?
Maoist Women!
Official figure is 32,250
30% to 40 % are women.
Interests, why did women participate?
Why the limited outcome for Maoist women?
Subordination of women’s interests and gender interests to “broader” or “basic” goals of emancipation

Changes to laws, policies and social and cultural norms

Collectivizing and Consciousness-raising


Kadka, S. (2012) 'Female Combatants and Ex-combatants in Maoist Revolution and Their Struggle for Reintegration in Post-war, Nepal', MA. University of Tromsø. Available from: http://munin.uit.no/bitstream/handle/10037/3980/thesis.pdf?sequence=2 (accessed 15 April 2013)

Klein, H. (2008) "We Learn As We Go" - Zapatista Women Share Their Experiences, Available from: http://towardfreedom.com/home/women/1224-qwe-learn-as-we-goq-zapatista-women-share-their-experiences (accessed 14 April 2013)

Manchanda, R. (2004) 'Maoist Insurgency in Nepal : Radicalizing Gendered Narratives', Cultural Dynamics, 16:237

Mexico, Comandante Esther (2001) Mensaje Central del EZLN ante el Congreso de la Union. Mexico City: Palacio Legislativo de San Lazaro

Moghadam, V. M (1997) ‘Gender and Revolutions' in John, F. (ed.) Theorizing Revolutions, New York: Routledge

Molyneux, M. (1985) Mobilization without Empancipation? Women’s Interests, the State, and the Revolution in Nicaragua. Available from: http://www.newschool.edu/uploadedFiles/TCDS/Democracy_and_Diversity_Institutes/Molyneux_Mobilization%20Without%20Emancipation.pdf
(accessed 14 April 2013)
Palabra EZLN (1994) Ley Revolucionaria de Mujeres. Mexico: El despertador Mexicano. Available from: http://palabra.ezln.org.mx/comunicados/1994/1993_12_g.htm (accessed 1 April 2013)
Castillo, R. (ed.) (2001) The Other Word: Women and Violence in Chiapas Before and After Acteal, Copenhagen, Denmark: IWGIA

Falquet, J. (1999) 'La coutume mise à mal par ses gardiennes mêmes : revendications des Indiennes zapatistes". Nouvelles Questions Féministes, 20.2 : 87-116

Nepal, Interim Constitution of Nepal 2063 (15 January2007), Available from: http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/docid/46badd3b2.html (accessed 7 April 2013)
Social Change
Forced Recruitment
Gender Equality
Take Revenge with State Security Force
To change existing discriminative social and political system of the nation
'One Family, One Person'
Legal Rights
Political representation
Conscientization across the country
Sahm Janagharti,
a leading member of the All Nepal Women's Association (Revolutionary)
Limited Representation
in Maoist party-level
Transformation of Patriarchy?
"When male and female discharged combatants return to the civil society, they are not welcomed in the same way. While men are perceived to have strengthened their gender role through military life and are considered even more masculine than before, female fighters are increasingly marginalized."
Who set the agenda?
Male-dominated in Military structure

-Party ideologue’’s reiteration
“anti-feudal struggle subsume women’s question”
Visible Power
Invisible Power
Hidden Power
Pettigrew, J. and Shneiderman, S. (2004) Ideology and Agency in Nepal’s Maoist Movement. Available from: http://www.himalmag.com/component/content/article/1700-ideology-and-agency-in-nepals-maoist-movement.html (accesssed 15 Apr 2013)

Pettigrew, J. (2012) 'Unexpected Consequences of Everyday Life During the Maoist Insurgency in Nepal'. Journal of International
Women's Studies, 13.4: 100-12
Shayne, J.D. (1998) 'Gendered Revolutionary Bridges: Women in the Salvadoran Resistance Movement (1972-1992)'. Available from:
http://julieshayne.net/LAPart.pdf (accessed 14 April 2013)
Gendered outcome determined by pre-revolution gender relations, idea and ideology of revolution, women's involvement, strategic use of identity
Gendered Revolutionary Bridges
Julia Denise Shayne
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