International Women’s Day
So I’m a little late, but November 25th was the International Day Against Violence Against Women. I’m not sure if you knew that, or what you did to commemorate this day, but I ended up spending hours reading blog posts about it.
November 25th is the anniversary of the death of the Mirabal sisters, three women who fought against the Trujillo dictatorship in the Dominican Republic. They were tortured and eventually killed for their activism, but their work made a huge difference in the eventual overthrow of Trujillo. As a Latina, it means a lot that this day has such a strong connection to Latina women, and also acknowledges the historical government-sanctioned violence (or violence that the government chose to not to punish) that women have gone through, particularly in Latin America.
In Brazil, our feminist movement has been colored by struggles similar to the U.S. feminist movements. The 60′s saw a lot of activism around a reproductive health rights, and the right to control one’s own body. In 1975, the UN International Conference for Women in Mexico named 1975-1985 the Decade of Women, coinciding with the end of Brazil’s military dictatorship, and the opening up the political sphere. Women began to fight against the medicalization of the body, widespread sterilization, and for the legalization of abortion. However, one of the most pressing issues for Brazilian feminists seems to be the struggle to end violence against women, as well as the inclusion of women of color and their priorities within the feminist movement.
So here’s to International Women’s Day.