Women in the Americas

By Goslinga, Marian | Hemisphere, Spring 1999 | Go to article overview

Women in the Americas


Goslinga, Marian, Hemisphere


Although feminism has proven to be one of the most potent forces of the twentieth century, women's rights still lag far behind those of men in all areas of the world. This trend is evident in Latin America and the Caribbean, where the movement's impetus has been compromised by issues of race and social status. Feminist scholars specializing in the region have not lost sight of these complications and have taken into account the variations they may cause in the conventional feminist model.

Yet, the feminist tradition in Latin America is not only deep but enduring. As early as 1691, Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, a Mexican nun, voiced her then-heretical opinions about women's rights in her famous Response to Sor Filotela. With that single act, Sor Juana set in motion the idea of the woman as equal, raising the standard for future generations to follow.

Today, women in Latin America are achieving prominence in politics, economics and the arts. The Caribbean in particular has been fertile ground for the feminist movement. In literature, for instance, Caribbean women writers have long been ardent promoters of feminism. Their writing continues to grow in quantity, exposure and appreciation.

Following is a selected listing of recent materials (monographs and periodical articles) testifying to the vitality of the feminist movement in Latin America and the Caribbean and dealing with various contemporary issues of concern to women in the region. For net surfers, http://www.nodo5O.org/mujeresred/ is an excellent tool for the Spanish-speaking researcher interested in women's issues. Created in Spain, this database addresses women's issues in various countries of Latin America and the Caribbean.

Adams, Clementina R. Common Threads: Themes in Afro-Hispanic Women's Literature. Miami, Fla.: Ediciones Universal, 1998. 325 pp.

Agosin, Marjorie, ed. A Woman's Gaze: Latin American Women Artists. Fredonia, NY: White Pine Press, 1998. 272 pp.

Arriagada, Irma. The Urban Female Labour Market in Latin America: The Myth and the Reality. Santiago, Chile: Comision Economica para America Latina y el Caribe, 1998. 39 pp.

Baksh-Soodeen, Rawwi. Issues of Difference in Contemporary Caribbean Feminism. Feminist Review 59 (Summer 1998): 74-85.

Barrientos, A. Pension Reform, Personal Pensions and Gender Differences in Pension Coverage. World Development 26, no. 1 (1998): 125-137. [Discusses the Chilean case.]

Barriteau, Eudine. Theorizing Gender Systems and the Project of Modernity in the Twentieth-Century Caribbean. Feminist Review 59 (Summer 1998): 186-210.

Barrow, Christine, ed. Caribbean Portraits: Essays on Gender Ideologies and Identities. Kingston, Jamaica: I. Randle, 1998. 497 pp. [Focuses on the relationship between gender and the heritage of imperialism, capitalism and racism in the English-speaking Caribbean.]

Beckles, Hilary McDonald. Centering Woman: Gender Relations in Caribbean Slave Society. Princeton, NJ: M. Wiener, 1998.

Beckles, Hilary McDonald. Historicizing Slavery in West Indian Feminisms. Feminist Review 59 (Summer 1998): 34-56.

Binstock, Hanna. Towards Equality for Women: Progress in Legislation Since the Adoption of the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women. Santiago, Chile: Comision Economica para America Latina y el Caribe, 1998. 50 pp. [Deals with recent legislation affecting women's rights in Latin America.]

Bollentini, Chiara. La poesia de Ana Maria Rodas: la revolucion socio-sexual en la Guatemala del patriarcado. Confluencia 13, no. 2 (Spring 1998): 156-168.

Brereton, Bridget. Gendered Testimonies: Autobiographies, Diaries and Letters by Women as Sources for Caribbean History. Feminist Review 59 (Summer 1998): 143-162.

Bull, Sheana Salyers. Machismo/Marianismo: Attitudes, Employment, Education, and Sexual Behavior among Women in Ecuador and the Dominican Republic. …

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