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University of Evansville

Publication Date

Spring 2007

Program Name

Chile: Culture, Development, and Social Justice


In the past century, societies around the world found themselves confronting the cultural and political double standards that existed (and still do) with respect to women’s rights and participation. While many countries have tried to include women equally and without bias, the truth is that women’s participation continues to be below mark. In Latin America, as well as many other regions of the world, women fulfill an interesting double role—on one side, the very center of society itself, on the other, an underrepresented and often ignored majority. This essay investigates the role that women’s organizations play in Chile, focusing on one organization in particular, ANAMURI (the National Association for Rural and Indigenous Women), and asked what were the main demands of this group, what type of success had they experienced (or were likely to experience) and how were they planning for the future, all looking within the context of women’s role in Latin America generally, and Chile specifically. In order to research this topic, the author lived in Santiago de Chile for the time period allotted to research (one month) in order to be close to ANAMURI’s office and to the individuals she hoped to interview. Articles, interviews and observation were all used to research this topic. At the end of this process, the author concluded that what exists in Chile today is an extremely fragmented social movement in general, and women’s organizations are perhaps among the worst off. There is little active support within both he national and local governments, and organizations are left with few resources and the growing problem of youth “indifference.” What this investigation was able to offer to ANAMURI were a series of suggestions on a specific level that can also apply to other women’s organizations in Chile. These may play a small part in strengthening the organization so that its members can be as strong as possible in their difficult and lengthy fight to change the way their society responds to social movements at a national level.


Inequality and Stratification | Politics and Social Change


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