As G(irls)20 moves to host their 9th annual summit in Argentina, they do so at a pivotal time in history. The feminist movement in Argentina is in a growing state of excitement and awareness. Argentina has always had a strong history of organizing women’s movements. Most famously, the Madres de la Plaza de Mayo (Mothers of the May Square). In 1976, over 30,000 female activists, students, lawyers, journalists and mothers were brutally murdered under a dictatorship that reigned for 10 years. Ever since this attack, the main square in front of the presidential palace in Argentina has served as a place of protestation for justice and truth for what happened to the Madres de la Plaza de Mayo.
Since that attack, and for the last thirty years, activists in Argentina have gathered at national women’s meetings where they discuss societal issues that affect women. Abortion has been a key part of the discussion, as Argentina has long held some of the world’s most restrictive abortion laws.
Despite the fact that the previous president of Argentina was a woman, many female activists still feel that advancement for the feminist movement in Argentina has a long way to go. However, in June 2015, there was a shift in female activism when 14-year-old Chiara Páez was impregnated by her boyfriend. When he found out, he beat and buried her alive. Women across the streets of Argentina rallied for the cause #NiUnaMenos (not one woman less) when the news story hit the headlines.
As one of the biggest feminist marches in generations, 250 000 women participated in the rally. As a result the Argentinian government officially began counting rates of femicide; homicides against women. #NiUnaMenos has had a massive effect on feminism in Argentina; the 3rd of June has become an annual march against femicides. The movement has spread to all of Latin America, increasing the awareness for female empowerment across several countries.
Women have finally been given the chance to shape the political image of Argentina. The feminist movement is growing powerful, and it’s coming from grassroots organizations. Women are holding positions of power and working together to create real and meaningful change. Hopefully soon, they will be given the power to make their own decisions and live safely and freely.
By: Shyla Devi Gupta