Home Institution

Hamilton College

Publication Date

Spring 2018

Program Name

Chile: Cultural Identity, Social Justice, and Community Development


For the month of May of 2018, as part of the SIT program ¨Chile: Cultural Identity, Social Justice and Community Development,¨ I had the opportunity to do an internship with the Centro de Atención y Reparación para Mujeres Víctimas/Sobrevivientes de Violencia Sexual de Valparaíso (CVS Mujeres Valparaíso), one of three centers created by the State of Chile to provide support and attention to women who are survivors of sexual violence. However, after the installation of the neoliberal económico model during the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet´s regime from 1973 to 1990, there continues to be a legacy of extreme capitalist ideology that limits the application of the concept of gender and contributes to the marginalization of radical feminist thought. What then is the relationship between CVS Mujeres Valparaíso, a feminist organization that addresses the issue of sexual violence, and the Chilean State, which functions within the interlocking systems of neoliberalism, capitalism and sexism? I chose to investigate this question and the tensions that exist in the relationship between these two structures. I also explored the correlation between the work of CVS Mujeres Valparaíso and the themes I have studied this semester with the SIT program. Throughout my time with the organization, I was able to support the organization with the completion of my tasks as an intern, learn about themes related to my interests as a women's and gender studies major, and develop various skills while working in an intercultural environment. I primarily worked with the translation of texts from English to Spanish related to the themes of gynecological and obstetric violence and contributed towards the gestation of an event for the International Day of Action for Women's Health on May 28th. In turn, I was able to learn about the treatment of gender in Chile, understand gynecological and obstetric violence as part of the continuum of gendered violence, and experience teamwork from a feminist perspective all the while working in a professional environment in Valparaíso, Chile. With information from my internship and the interviews I conducted with those I worked with, I discovered how the themes of gender in society, human rights in the history of Chile, and economic and social inequality relate to the work of CVS Mujeres Valpraíso. I also came to recognize that as a result of the relationship with the neoliberal Chilean State, the organization does face limitations in the application of the concept of gender, often being forced to work within the gender binary. They also must manage the neoliberal mentality of production and individualism. However, after my investigation, it is evident that those within the organization practice certain forms of resistance against the limiting and often detrimental implications of these ideological influences of the socio-economic model. All in all, CVS Mujeres Valpraíso clearly must manage certain tensions and contradictions as a feminist center created by the Chilean State. If there are future SIT program students who elect to do an internship with the same organization, I would recommend above all that they speak up, ask questions and enjoy the experience of sharing a feminist space of solidarity with those who they meet through CVS.


Domestic and Intimate Partner Violence | Family, Life Course, and Society | Gender and Sexuality | Inequality and Stratification | Latin American Studies | Women's Studies


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