Hear My Testimony: Maraia Teresa Tula, Human Rights Activist of El Salvador

By María Teresa Tula; Lynn Stephen | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 16

MARÍA'S COMPAÑERAS
WOMEN'S GRASSROOTS ORGANIZING IN
EL SALVADOR, 1970-1991. *

Introduction

Of all the Central American countries, El Salvador has provided perhaps the most complex terrain for women's struggles. Beginning with the re-emergence of popular organizations and the FMLN's armed struggle in the late 1970s, Salvadoran women have achieved an impressive track record in organizing. While many were initially mobilized to organize around survival issues or class struggle in the 1970s, over 15 years of experience within mixed movements and organizations has resulted in a wide range of women's or women-dominated organizations that deal with gender-specific concerns. Women's economic struggles as wives and mothers, their health concerns, rape, battering, and legislative discrimination are now a part of the Salvadoran political spectrum, thanks to the relentless persistence of women activists. 1

____________________
*
The author gratefully acknowledges the collaboration of the following women whose willingness to be interviewed and to share their insights were critical in writing this chapter: Gudelia Abrego, Cecilia Masin, Pasita Rosales, Susana Rodriguez, Gloria Castañeda, Margarita Jímenez, Alba América Guirola Zelaya, Mercedes Cañas, Alicia Panameño de García, Sofia Escamillas, and Oralia de Rivas. Interviews were carried out in September 1991. Some of these

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