Embargo Period


First Advisor

Aynn Setright, PhD


Feminist movements have taken on various iterations since they first began, particularly as the movements expanded beyond predominantly Western and white spaces. This research study explores how gender equality is perceived and navigated along the U.S.-Mexico border area, taking into account the various Latin American and U.S. feminist developments that have shaped the current landscape of the border. 11 Mexican and Mexican-American women living in U.S.-Mexico border states were interviewed to gain an understanding of their definitions, perceptions, and opinions on feminism and gender-related issues given their bicultural contexts. These conversations revealed that ideas of rights and equality were central to many interviewees’ definitions of feminism. Although some interviewees shared a few reservations around the movement due to stereotypes, perceptions around it were overall positive. Most participants saw clashes between ideas of gender equality and traditional Mexican values, particularly around gender roles and economic inequality. Some navigated and challenged these clashes within the confines of traditional expectations, while others broke farther from traditional norms. Participants’ roles as mothers, teachers, and mentors were prominent places for them to influence others with their ideas on how to carry out gender equality. The findings of this research demonstrate how gender equality is constantly being defined, shaped, and promoted by women who live in this unique region.


Anthropology | Arts and Humanities | Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Latin American Studies | Race and Ethnicity | Social and Cultural Anthropology | Social Justice | Sociology | Sociology of Culture | Sociology of Religion | Women's Studies