Women in Movement in Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe

This publication is the result of the colloquium "Women in Movement in Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe" held in November 2020, as part of the annual meeting organised since 2012 with the support of the EU-LAC (European Union Latin America and the Caribbean) Foundation, the French Development Agency (AFD) and the Institut des Amériques (IdA).

Usually presented as part of the Latin America and Caribbean Week, this event has been redesigned due to the health context, under the scientific coordination of Lissell Quiroz, professor of Latin American studies at CY Cergy Paris Université. It took the form of a series of three webinars, each dealing with a different theme, with a comparative Europe/Latin America and Caribbean dimension.

The webinars aimed to break with gender stereotypes according to which women would more or less passively suffer their living conditions and would therefore be victims with no capacity for action. The "Women in Movement" scientific project, therefore, set itself the task of overturning these representations by highlighting the actions taken by Latin American, Caribbean and European women to combat the various forms of discrimination and violence they suffer. Thus, violence against women is now a social reality made visible and palpable by statistics available in all Latin American and European countries. According to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), in 2019 there were 3,800 femicides in the region, 8% more than the previous year. Some countries are very affected by this phenomenon: this is the case of Mexico (1,006 in 2019), Brazil (1,133 in 2018) or Central America (2,200 in 2018).

However, these alarming figures conceal another reality: far from being passive victims, women have been resisting and organising themselves for centuries to fight against patriarchal and colonial violence. This is the case, for example, of the Aymara women Gregoria Apaza (1751-1782) and Bartolina Sisa (1753-1782), as well as the Afro-native Micaela Bastidas (1744-1781), who fought during the Andean revolutions at the end of the 18th century. Yet they held leadership and military positions in the rebellion and died as martyrs in the anti-colonial struggle. Their role was therefore decisive. This is also the case for many others today, heroines of everyday life, certainly less visible, but who fight relentlessly for the evolution of women's living conditions and rights.

The online seminars, therefore, sought to highlight the diversity of contemporary women's initiatives to combat the discrimination and violence suffered on both sides of the Atlantic. The aim was to bring together a variety of voices from civil society and not only from the world of women's rights to discuss these issues.

The aim was to bring together diverse voices from civil society and not only from the academic world, to give a voice to the women themselves, to make their actions, their initiatives and their hopes visible. The scientific project was divided into three parts: women's political action, their inclusion in cities and their fight against violence. These three webinars set out to go beyond the observation to discuss concrete actions and initiatives implemented in Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean in recent years and even during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The objective of the first webinar, entitled "Organising in the feminine", was to show the diversity of organisational forms and the participation of women in different areas of economic, political and social life. The second, "Gender, urbanism and public policies", looked at the city as a space experienced by women who, far from being confined to the domestic space, go out and move around in it daily, under constraining conditions that they seek to overcome. The last one, devoted to "violence against women: from observation to action", focused on a central aspect of feminist mobilisations in recent decades, namely gender violence, by considering the actions of women and public authorities to combat this scourge. This book brings together most of the papers presented during the three sessions of the conference.