In Latin America and the Caribbean, feminist movements are facing various challenges. After their crucial role in the resistance against military dictatorships in the 80s and their political and trade unionist struggle for re-democratisation in many of the region’s countries during the 90s, today’s generation is marked by a great diversity of approaches. Postcolonial, ecological, indigenous, queer-feminist and post-neoliberal perspectives find their expression in the broad debate and are calling into question the eurocentric, “white”, elitist, feminist discourse. Despite their different perspectives, they all fundamentally challenge the intersecting structures of domination of the capitalist economic and the patriarchal order of society and offer proposals for a radical socio-ecological transformation.
Feminist movements have gained momentum in the wake of #MeToo and the wave of protests linked to the movement of #NiUnaMenos (NotOneLess). This movement brought together feminists from all walks of life, in their fight against a range of inequalities that are holding women back and getting them killed on a daily basis. Latin America and the Caribbean are the continent most affected by gender-based violence especially regarding the murder of women for their gender. According to numbers shared by UN Women, out of the 25 countries worldwide with the highest numbers of femicides, 14 are in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Apart from femicide, feminist movements are also engaged in tackling gender inequality manifested in a sizeable gender pay gap (almost 30% according to the World Economic Forum) which leads to often miserable pensions for women, the feminization of poverty and women´s lack of insertion into the formal labour market while bearing almost all the burden of care work in the region (badly paid and unpaid). Feminism or rather feminisms that protest against these conditions on the continent are diverse and in some countries fragmented, but share common causes.
The regional project of the FES seeks to bring together this diversity of feminisms, rallying around a feminist articulation to transform the prevailing development and economic models in the region. The regional group of feminists therefore reflects a range of feminisms, from labour union activists to ecofeminists, journalists and feminist economists from different generations and 14 different countries, all active in various organizations and networks across the region.
FES offers a platform for exchange and alliances among Latin American and Caribbean feminists towards a consolidation and increased visibility of the feminist critique of capitalism and neoliberal development models. A “Regional Feminist Action Group” has been initiated while at the same time reinforcing the work on feminist and gender issues by the national offices of the FES. Specifically, we want to spread feminist messages and proposals regarding a feminist transformation of the social and economic system. Within the regional action group, subgroups are working on feminist responses to political reforms and extractivism, physical and economic autonomy, care economy and tax politics.