Women: the new political force in Latin America

Increasing the number of women in politics means strengthening democracy.

Women are the minority group with the largest number of members. While ethnic, racial and religious minorities usually represent a low percentage of the population, women represent 50%, and even more in many countries.

What this means is that the female half of society consists of millions of people who fight for their rights since the independence of our countries. These are women of different races, ideologies and origins, fighting for reasons that encompass not only gender, but also many others issues.

By reaching political positions, women bring with them the struggles from the groups to which they belong. They bring some of that DNA that’s committed to social issues into the political fabric.

It is no coincidence that movements concerned with innovating in politics emphasize the role of women, as is the case of the recently published study and audiovisual series produced by the Update Institute, which was devoted to analyzing Latin American women in power for 14 months and how they are changing our countries’ reality.

The way of doing politics in Latin America is changing. It may not be evident when we look at presidents like Jair Bolsonaro, Iván Duque, Sebastián Piñera, among others. But grassroots politics tell another story. Feminist movements in the region brought figures like Marielle Franco in Brazil, Beatriz Sánchez in Chile and Claudia López in Colombia, to leadership positions, inspiring a whole new generation.

“Women in Latin America form the basis of life, she is in all the communities, she is in the villages, in the ranches, in the quilombos, in the towns, in the cities. This multiple knowledge must reach the political system ”, said Update Institute’s Áurea Carolina, councilor with the most votes in the history of Belo Horizonte and current federal deputy of Brazil.

What do these movements mean for Latin America?

Ni Una Menos

As the study by the Update Institute explains, it is impossible to talk about feminist politics in the region without mentioning the Argentine movement organized on social media: Ni Una Menos. The first march was held on June 3, 2015 in 80 cities across Argentina and brought together an impressive 300,000 people. From that day on, the movement became a phenomenon of about 800,000 people.

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