From the time of hunter gatherer societies, women have been looking to have equal rights to men, They have had some large advances over time, but it has taken hundreds of years and they are still not equal. Although there has been tremendous improvement in the rights of women women were still not represented in politics, were able to participate in revolutions were able to make change through suffrage.
Women were not represented in politics for a very long time. In 1904 a man, who was the minister of public education in Mexico, wrote to a women’s magazine about women’s place in society. He said, “The educated woman will be truly dedicated to the home; she will be a companion and collaborator of man in the formation of the family.” (doc 1) This means that a women, regardless of their education, should serve the home and stay at home instead of working in politics. They believe that women place in society is not a place to work alongside man, it is to serve man and do household work. The fact that this is written to a women’s magazine demonstrates how many wouldn’t even attempt to hide their opinions. They wanted their opinions to be very public and for all to hear. This is supported by the fact that this was written to a women’s magazine by a man. Another example of this is in document 6 when a military general is address,\ing the president of mexico. He says, “Undoubtedly, granting Mexican women powers to govern would be a disaster” (doc 6). This is showing another man’s point of view against women gaining power outside the home. He believes that women gaining power would lead to women being more criminal than man. They are also implying that this could lead to a large amounts of corruption in the government.
Women also participated in the Mexican revolution. In a picture taken during the mexican revolution, a group of women, called Zapatista’s were armed and information as if they were shooting at something.This shows how the women are becoming a political force. This is one of the first step to getting recognition. By having this picture be taken, they are taking matters into their own hands to try and get the results that they want. Another example of this is in document 9 when a female community activist interviewed with a historian and talked about the evolution of women’s rights. She mentioned the Sandinista front which was a democratic socialist ruling party in Nicaragua. She was saying that this gave women more rights and power. This is showing that socialism is good for women’s rights. She says, “They showed us, they really gave us the idea that the woman in the world, in life, in work, can be equal to a man.” This proves that socialism can be good for the advancement in the rights of women. At this point women have received many more rights, like the right to vote. The Sandinista liberation front released a running party platform, that said, “The Sandinista Popular Revolution will abolish the discrimination that women have suffered with respect to men: it will establish economic, political, and cultural equality between women and men.”(doc 7) This is a huge difference from when political leaders would write to women’s magazines about how women need to stay in the home. The Sandinista National liberation front is Socialist. This is one more example of how the socialist party is pro women and makes that a focal part of their political agenda. This is also much later. This is from 1963. In mexico women got the right to vote in 1953. By making this a main focus of their party, they are trying to appeal to the women’s vote. Finally in 1917 a Male Cuban senator is advocating for the rights of women. This once again is a huge step towards equal rights for women, because it means that man now recognize the inequality in society. He says “Women should have their rights because the movement is recognized worldwide, it is just and moderate, and the women are not asking to dominate men. Resisting the women’s movement will encourage women activists to become socialists and fulfill everyone’s greatest fear.” (doc 4) This also represent that there is a need for urgency to try prevent socialism. This is a huge step to equal rights for women. He is also recognizing that this is a worldwide movement that needs to be accepted.
Women can Make change through their suffrage. This is very evident in a speech that a Mexican Feminist speaker makes. She says “A woman needs suffrage and asks for it from a moral standpoint, because of what she can do with the vote. She needs it so that she can combat alcoholism, prostitution, juvenile delinquency, pornography, and everything that works against child morality. She needs it so that she can guard her own health as well as that of the public” (doc 2) This is a example of how people believe that women’s suffrage can improve the world. They can solve very large social and moral issues with the power of women’s suffrage. In another document Maria Luisa Marin has a call to action. This in in a time before women could vote in Mexico or the US. She says, “People of Veracruz, wake up and join the struggle.” (doc 5) This is an example of the women’s movement filling itself. Women are advocating for women to rise up and join the movement. This shows how the movement became so powerful during this time period. Women are motivating other women to fight for their rights and join the movement. This is seen in document 8, which is a picture of women protesting in argentina for the right to information on the dissiperance or death of loved ones. This is a all women’s movement, The Mothers of the May Plaza. This could be a reaction of a call to action very similar to that one that we heard in Doc 5. This is also much later. It is after women got the rights to vote in Mexico and the US. Finally in document 10 a women is asking a group of other women about their husbands contribution to household chores and work. She also asked about the abuse that those women suffer. She says “And—I know none of us wants to talk about this—but how many of you have husbands who are abusive, who beat you for whatever whim?””(doc 10) This is showing that these women are coming out and bonding together over mutual issues.
In conclusion gender and politics went hand in hand in Latin america. Women are suppressed in the house and in politics. Although women are making large amounts of progress in the equal treatment of women, they are still being suppressed in politics and not being treated equally. Today this is still true. Women have equal rights in terms of voting and politics but are not viewed that way.