Roles Of Women In Latin American Society

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The role of women in Latin American society started to evolve during the postcolonial years of the early twentieth century. As Latin American countries started to assert their independence and search for ways to secure a prosperous future, women also fought to secure changes that would ensure them a better quality of life. The gender biases that had relegated women to household duties had also expanded to include obligations to perform duties in industrial factories. The struggle to balance home and work life encouraged women to fight for equal rights and independence from a system of patriarchy. These efforts were especially prominent in Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina, where women joined together and form societies aimed at combating political, …show more content…
Leading activists advocated for women’s empowerment and argued that women deserved equal political rights, such as the right to vote or hold office, because they obeyed the same laws and paid taxes same as male contemporaries. In an effort to gain the support of upper and middle-class women, Mexican President Venustiano Carranza enacted laws extended numerous rights to women, including the authority to sign contracts, own and manage properties, and obtain a divorce and alimony. However, the hot button issue of women’s suffrage was usually met with strong opposition. Not to mention radical delegates feared the Catholic Church could use their influence to sway women’s opinion and undermine their political stance on clerical power and capitalism. Women residing in rural areas were usually poor and even more politically powerless as they remained tied to a patriarchal system that denied them any economic or political independence from their male relations. In 1930, activist “Cuca” García helped establish the National Congress of Women Workers and Peasants that advocated for state action to reform agrarian laws and protect poor, indigenous, and working women. The fight for women’s rights continued with the establishment of The United Front for Women’s Rights, which was an organization that incorporated over eight hundred other women’s groups. Women’s suffrage was not passed in …show more content…
Their effort to modify the racial imbalance had an unforeseen effect in the industrial sector. A large number of white immigrant women who found employment in the textile factories grew tired of the gender inequalities they faced in the workplace. These women joined together and organized the “first general workers strike in Brazilian history in response to the negative impact of wartime inflation on worker’s wages.” Their demands for higher wages and better working conditions prompted other factories to follow suit and resulted in a national labor movement. Since the strike only involved the urban factory works and not peasantry who made up the majority of the population, the movement remained small and improved conditions temporary. As of 1960, women’s wages in Brazil were approximately sixty percent of male wages and the average lifespan was twenty-eight years old due to poor living conditions and widespread diseases. Consequently, women organized the Brazilian Federation for the Advancement of Women (FBPF) to advocate for government intervention to improve workplace conditions and prevent abuses and exploitation, as well as establish equal wages in both the industrial and agricultural sectors. By 1934, the FBPF had successfully advocated for thirteen principles covering women’s

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