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MACKENZIE WEATHERLY. We Learn As We Go By: Hilary Klein.

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Presentation on theme: "MACKENZIE WEATHERLY. We Learn As We Go By: Hilary Klein."— Presentation transcript:


2 We Learn As We Go By: Hilary Klein

3 Background Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) Best known for the uprising in January 1994 Broad social movement Principal demands Land Indigenous rights and culture Constructed indigenous autonomy in its territory Own government Health and education infrastructure Economic institutions

4 Background Zapatista territory covers much of the eastern part of the Mexican state of Chiapas. Hundreds of villages in the Lacandon jungle, the canyon region, the highlands and the northern zone of Chiapas make up the Zapatista support base.

5 EZLN 1996-Intercontinental Gathering for Humanity and Against Neoliberalism Key event for world-wide movement against capitalist globalization One of the only times public space dedicated to Zapatista women telling their stories Aprox. 3,000 participants attended this gathering 3 days of 200 different Zapatista women telling their stories Each of the five Caracoles, were represented

6 Before Many worked on the plantations Described mothers and grandmothers lives as: horrendous, exploitation, violence and discrimination, lack of access to health care and education Triple discrimination Women, poor, and indigenous

7 After Credit the Zapatista movement to changes rights as women Decrease in domestic violence Right to choose who to marry Right to choose how many children to have Not restricted to working in the home and raising children Women now serve as local and regional representatives, political leaders, and members of the government, health and education promoters

8 How were these changes achieved? Womens collectives Vegetable gardens, bread-making, artisan. Source of financial resources invested back into the communities Collectives acted as a springboard for participation in other areas in the movement

9 Leadership in the EZLN Comandanta Ramona Early Political leader Founded the National Indigenous Congress in 1996 Major Ana Maria One of the first military leaders of EZLN Women slowly started participating politically more and more 1993-Revolutionary Womens Law

10 Rhetoric vs Reality Common contradiction in radical and revolutionary movements Rhetoric about womens rights important first step However reality needs to catch up to the statements made by the leadership about women's role in the movement Some Zapatista communities women largely still in subordinate positions Tension was present at the gathering Listeners left feeling that the women were describing ideal conditions not how they really are

11 Political Participation Women often participated in the autonomous council, they present proposals to the community Solved problems within the community Resolved family disputes Helped women be treated as equals Encourage others to be active and participate

12 Health and Education Autonomous health car and education systems were developed in response to the lack Common in past for children to die from curable disease Lived far away from city and even if could get there often denied due to racism against indigenous people Few schools in the indigenous communities and those that existed did not allow girls Both schools and health care centers were created within the communities

13 The Other Campaign & Dialogue with Civil Society Final theme of the encuentro- gathering was women and the Other Campaign Most recent mobilization and process of dialogue with civil society Group traveling to sectors of society those most marginalized and listening to their experiences. Emphasizes problem is bad government Part of the vision of the Zapatisa movement Right to land, housing, education, health-care self- determination for all oppressed communities

14 The Encuentro More solid recognition of womens rights in the Zapatista movement Those that participated gained confidence and knowledge Use to reflect how far they have come and where they need to go still

15 Twelve Women in the Twelfth Year In the 12 th year of the EZLN many important women are forgotten Tells the stories of 12 different women and their significance Mainly Night of January 1 st 1994 Night the rebels take San Cristobal de Las Casas

16 Women of the EZLN Comandante Romona Negotiator during Peace Talks Insurgent Infantry Captain Irma Took the plaza of Ocosingo Insurgent Infantry Captain Elisa Became Captain during battle after Captain was injured Give orders in soft murmur but everyone obeys Insurgent Infantry Captain Laura Captain of a unit composed of only men Insurgent Infantry Captain Silvia Trapped for 10 days after fighting in Ocosingo Slips past multiple federal soldiers and military checkpoint

17 Women of EZLN Insurgent Infantry Captain Maribel Took Radio Station in Las Margaritas First rebel to have contact with government When asked her aged she responds with 502 counts all the years since the rebellion began Infantry Insurgent Isidora Rescues unit of 40, all men from the flames in Ocosingo while wounded First Lieutenant in hospital, Amalia Saves her Captain and refuses to surrender when surrounded Lieutenant in hospital, Elena Illiterate when joined, learn to read, write, and medicine

18 Twelve Women December 1994 Ana Mara commands to break through military blockade around the Lacandon Jungle Monica, Isabela, Yuri, Patricia, Juana, Ofelia, Celina, Maria, Gabriela, Alicia, Zenaida, Maria Luisa The Zapatistas escaped the blockade The women are dismissed and made invisible

19 Conclusion Dona Juanita Finally reached her dream There is still more to fight for Many of these women are forgotten Their faced erased, name hidden Tomorrow, if there is to be one, it will be made with the women, and above all, by them…

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