Home Institution

Washington University in St Louis

Publication Date

Fall 2006

Program Name

Argentina: Social Movements and Human Rights


The piquetero movement was born in the late nineties among many transformations in the Argentine economic system. It was a result of neoliberal policies which did not take into consideration the needs of the working class. The result was a society marked by poverty and lack of job opportunities. Groups of unemployed people opted to organize and made roadblocks to obtain social plans and other benefits from the government. Most of the people who compose these movements are women. This investigation analyzes the changes that have occurred in piquetero women’s daily life after their initiation in the social movements. It examines changes in the private and public domains. Four in depth interviews were conducted in two different unemployed worker’s movements in the Province of Buenos Aires. In addition, observant participation was also crucial. The piquetero movement has produced new opportunities, and has created new repertories in which women have found a place to make their voices heard. As a result of their participation they have come to know new spaces in which to interact, people to share experiences with, and new ways to deal with their circumstances. Now, they are not scared to talk and claim their rights. Their vision of the world, their ideas about women’s roles, the relationships with other members of their family, and how they manage their daily tasks have all changed because of their participation in the organizations. They have opened their eyes to a reality that does not judge them for being poor or for being female; they have awakened to a new universe full of opportunities to transform and to be transformed.


Politics and Social Change


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