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Macalester College

Publication Date

Spring 2012

Program Name

Nicaragua: Revolution, Transformation, and Civil Society


The relationship between organized women—particularly feminists—and the State in Nicaragua has been one of open contestation. As Daniel Ortega and the FSLN administration continue passing laws that the feminist movements perceive as attacks on women’s rights, the fight between them continues. For the women struggling against the actions of the State, the language of this contestation is often the language of open and closed spaces. They speak of a double closure: the closure of institutional spaces and of opportunities to express their autonomy, especially autonomy over their bodies. However, the perceived lack of space for women to make real change at the personal and institutional levels has not resulted in their defeat. Rather, because of their commitment to opening new spaces for the achievement of women’s rights, many within the feminist movements see themselves as the only true opposition to the increasingly authoritarian Ortega government. Thus, the State’s grasps at controlling and shutting down space for opposition have pushed women’s movements in Nicaragua to create alternative spaces to contest action and construct new realities.


Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies


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