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Abstract

Latin American women are on the move today, taking their demands to the streets throughout the region in unprecedented numbers. What these demands reveal is a growing frustration and anger among women with the distance between official democratic promises and protections and the limited gains in basic rights, even the reversal of minimal achievements in places like Central America and Brazil. Feminists are weaving together different struggles into an intersectional movement explicitly linking gender demands to the end of a neoliberal capitalist model of development and its devastating social, economic and ecological effects on Latin America’s overwhelming majority. A critical Latin American feminism aimed at apprehending the present predicament of women in the region, I suggest, needs to extend its commitment to producing knowledge from below and to the left, by reaching further, and engaging critically with Marx and his feminist critics. Given the widespread impact of the present capitalist modernity, tethered to neo-extractivism, not only on the lives of peasant and indigenous Latin Americans but also of increasingly broader sectors of rural and urban society and in particular, on the lives of women, it is imperative that we understand the structural nature of the relation between women, capitalism and nature.

Note on the Author

Born in Chile, Verónica Schild is a critical feminist scholar and Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Western Ontario, in London, Ontario, Canada. She has written extensively on feminism and the women’s movement in Chile and Latin America, on market citizenship, and on the neoliberalization of Latin American states. In light of the stunning levels of environmental destruction, dispossession, and violence linked with neoliberal extractivist capitalism in Latin America, she is returning to key contributions and concerns in critical theory, including debates of, and with, Marx.

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