hen I took an extensive trip to Chile, Brazil, Argentina, and Peru in
the spring of 2006, I was not thinking of putting together a book
on what has happened to women’s movements in Latin America. I had not
done field research in the region since the mid-1990s, and from a distance
it seemed that women’s movements had declined and that women were no
longer considered political actors of any consequence. Instead of focusing on
women, I therefore joined my husband in a series of interviews on political
and economic conditions, eager to see at close range how these democracies
were evolving in general and to assess the effects of globalization.
Yet as I conducted interviews in Brazil, attended Michelle Bachelet’s in-
auguration in Chile (and returned to Santiago for several weeks during the
height of the debate on gender quotas), caught up with Peru in the period be-
tween the first and second rounds of the 2006 election, and wrestled with the
Kirchner phenomenon in Argentina, I came to realize that a new book was
necessary. Women’s movements were not moribund, as some I interviewed
had suggested, but were instead undergoing major shifts in strategy, and
their agendas had changed. This book aims to capture the new directions of
feminist activism and their implications for democracy and gender justice.
It would be impossible to thank all the individuals who helped along the
way. My greatest debt is to the authors themselves, who were enthusiastic
from the beginning, grappled with the issues, and responded with good spirit
Previous Page Next Page