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Gender Issues in Latin America

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1 Gender Issues in Latin America
Prepared and Presented by: Edricka Hardge Alix McNamara Morgan Kilway Kaitlin Doud Lisa Van Sparrentak Cassandra Kaczor Gabriel Moore Jill Pastunink

2 The Role of Women in Latin America
Morgan Kilway

3 The Family Patriarchal Society- male centered in family life as well as in government. Women traditionally thought of as caregivers, the men, in theory, “bring home the bacon” Although families tend to be patriarchal in Latin America, female headed households are on the rise.

4 The Family Continued More education opportunities available to women, less sex-specialized skills needed, for example; women need men to do market work, therefore they do the house work. This makes women more independent.

5 Poverty In Costa Rica, poverty is “feminizing”- a significant rise in poverty of female lead households. Women represent a disproportionate amount of Latin America’s poor. However, some firms prefer to hire women such as Maquiladoras along the U.S. Mexico border.

6 Politics Women are becoming more involved in politics
Law passed in 2003 in Mexico banning discriminations in the workplace and protect reproductive rights Between ‘96 and ‘06 laws were passed dealing with family violence intended to protect the family from the family, an attempt to thwart patriarchy. Women are becoming more aggressive in politics, fighting for institutionalized equality and demanding more power.

7 In Conclusion… The roles of women in Latin America are changing, in some ways following the pattern set in the U.S. Although women are gaining more political power, they are still disproportionately disadvantaged compared to men, policy changes should attempt to correct this disparity.

8 Women’s Self-Perception in Latin America
Effects of Gender Expectations, the Media and Reggaeton Culture, Eating-Disordered Influence and Prevailing Stereotypes Cassandra Kaczor

9 Gender Expectations Predominantly Catholic, it is suggested to women to be chaste and modest “Young women were encouraged to be chaste and go to church and behave. In many families, dating was prohibited and sex education was not administered...”-Rosie Molinary “Be a good girl in life, and a bad girl in bed...” -Molinary Equal pressure to start a family: due to Machismo culture, women feel pressure to dress more seductively, as this is “the look” that “gets the guy” “There was pressure to be feminine...several women wrote that they were expected to wear makeup every day.” -Molinary Must be obedient to males, or simply put up with advances to get work “I recall hearing about the harassment that Puerto Rican women endured in factories where the "boss men" talked to them as if sexual innuendo was all they understood and, worse, often gave them the choice of submitting to advances or being fired.” -Judith Ortiz Cofer Job discrimination based on how attractive you are is very common. (Casanova 289)

10 The Media and Reggaeton Culture
Definition of reggaeton, according to “Reggaeton has empowered the Hispanic Caribbean youth, specifically those of Puerto Rico, Panama, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, and Mexico as well as the Latin American audience and the Latino communities in the United States, with a musical genre as a voice. Like hip hop, reggaeton has caused controversy due to its often explicit lyrics and alleged exploitation of women .” Seeing women as sex objects, hood ornaments for cars. Obscene lyrics. Women frequently feel the need to conform, to attract a mate, and to blend in with the popular culture. [Reggaeton’s Lyrics are] "not just explicit, but violently explicit" and "extremely misogynistic." -Raquel Z. Rivera, a sociologist specializing in reggaeton “Although individual rappers are typically wealthy from their music careers, they maintain a “ghetto aesthetic” that connects their style and consumption patterns to the black and Latino poor.” -Margaret Hunter

11 Eating-Disordered Behavior in Latinas
Acculturation after the introduction of American media has a huge effect Overall thinness is not as important as in the U.S.; there is an emphasis on “curves,” however, this emphasis includes “a thin waist.” [Casanova] Desire to look Caucasian and White [Casanova] The National Eating Disorder Association found that: “among the leanest 25% of sixth- and seventh- grade girls, Asians and Latinas reported significantly more body dissatisfaction than did white girls...Latinas were the second highest group trying to lose weight--at 36.1%...” And: “In the...survey, 50.8% of [Latina] women said that they were unsatisfied to very unsatisfied with their weight; 74.2% of them had dieted at some point in their lives.” [Molinary]

12 Prevailing Stereotypes
After searching through many blog postings and internet forums, I was disgusted to see how Latina women were discussed by both Caucasian and Latin American men. Discussions ranged from sexist comments to sexual expectations to stereotypes, many of which are listed by Latina women themselves on the following slide “When a Puerto Rican girl dressed in her idea of what is attractive meets a man from the mainstream culture who has been trained to react to certain types of clothing as a sexual signal, a clash is likely to take place.” -From Myth of a Latina Woman

13 Prevailing Stereotypes [continued]
“When asked to list any stereotypes, [Latina women] feel exist about Latinas, the ten most common sex- and gender- related answers were the following: we’re promiscuous we get pregnant all the time we’re oversexualized we’re teenage moms we are uneducated and let our men beat us we have no aspirations outside of getting married and having kids we are freaky in bed we all have big breasts and butts we wear too much makeup, our clothes are too tight, and our hair is too big we all have many children and are on welfare, trying to cheat the system” [Molinary]

14 Sources Molinary, Rosie, Hijas Americanas: Beauty, body image, and growing up Latina. (California: Seal Press, 2007) Smith, Christopher Holmes “‘I Don’t Like to Dream About Getting Paid’: Repre-sentations of Social Mobility and the Emergence of the Hip-Hop Mogul.” Social Text21(4):69–97. Casanovia, Erynn Masi de. ““No Ugly Women”: Concepts of Race and Beauty among Adolescent Women in Ecuador,” Gender and Society, Vol. 18, No. 3 (2004): , accessed 18 June Ceulemans, Meike and Fauconnier, Guido. (1979). “Mass Media: The Image, Role, and Social Conditions of Women.” (diss. Department of Communication Science, Catholic University of Leuven) Ortiz Cofer, Judith. (1993). “The Myth of the Latin Woman: I Just Met a Girl Named Maria” (From “The Latin Deli: Prose & Poetry”), University of Georgia Press “Eating Disorders in Women of Color: Explanations and Implications,” National Eating Disorders Association (2005), accessed 11 June 2011, Yahoo and Google blogs, accessed May 2011

15 Employment Gender Inequality in Mexico
Alix McNamara

16 Statistics Population: 113,724,226 Males : 55,586,964 (49%)
Females: 58,137,262 (51%) This map shows the gender disparity throughout the country and which areas where the disparity is the greatest

17 Employment Overall throughout the country jobs available to men outweigh the jobs that are available to women, despite the fact that there are more women in the country then men Women in the workforce Maquiladoras a source for employment opportunities Paid less then a man They are better at handling the tedious factory work Informal Sector Many women turn to the informal sector for work, as do the men, in the hopes of finding a job that pays higher then minimum wage Wage disparities Many men are paid higher then women for the same job

18 Education Getting an education is more difficult for many women
Traditional roles of women as the caretaker of the family Literacy rates are much higher for men then for women Discrimination in acceptance to higher education (colleges/universities)

19 Politics Education a factor Women in a place of authority
Hard for some women to gain as much respect as men and to be taken seriously Often times thought of as not strong enough Education a factor Having a good education is a big deal when you are thinking about entering into politics which can be harder for a woman then a man

20 Religion/ Traditional and Cultural Values
Mexicans, as opposed to other cultures are less supportive of non-traditional values Traditionally women are the caretakers of the family and stay at home the majority of the time Women’s work at home can sometimes be more socially vital then a man’s work outside of the home Women, in Mexican culture, are generally thought of as the head of the family Traditionally their job was to take care of everyone and to take car of the home

21 Sources "Females, Males and Gender Inequality in Mexico." Geo-Mexico, the Geography of Mexico. Web. June <>. "Gender Equality in Mexico -" New Home - Web. June <>. Marquez, Celina M. "An Introduction to MEXICO & the Role of Women." West Virginia University. Web. June <>. "Mexico." CIA - The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency, 17 May Web. June <>.

22 Schmitz, Kim, and Sarah Diefenthaler
Schmitz, Kim, and Sarah Diefenthaler. "An Examination of Traditional Gender Roles Among Men and Women in Mexico and the United States." Web. June <>. Winn, Peter. Americas: the Changing Face of Latin America and the Caribbean. Berkeley, CA: University of California, Print.

23 Religion and Gender Roles in Latin America
Jill Pastunink

24 Traditional Catholicism reinforces women’s subornation particularly in their exclusion from public life. Over the last few decades new religious trends have emerged challenging traditional Catholic Culture including: Comunidades eclesiales de base (base communities or CEB’s) Growth of Protestant Pentecostal religious groups Religious groups are offering new organizations or participatory structures drawing people into new roles because of Pentecostalism and CEBs

25 Symbolic Opportunities CEBs and Pentecostal Groups Offer Women
Traditional Catholicism Influence of CEBs and Pentecostal Groups Men are the nominal heads of the households Women must fulfill their God-given feminine destines. Women cannot be priests. Ignored sexism as a source of oppression. Both men and women must submit to the will of God Pentecostalism scripture states equality before Christ more directly contradicts female subornation. CEB does not speak of this, rather that women have special roles and talents that spring from their biological roles as mothers. In Pentecostal women have a commitment to preach Unfortunately in the 1983 pastoral campaign sexual violence by women was never addressed. Material presented women as suppressed only in the sense the society denied them the resources to meet their families needs.

26 The Pentecostalism and the Liberationist church provide some ideas that could change women’s gender roles However these are based on embedded beliefs that can reinforce traditional roles Still, these groups offer them opportunity for leadership and empowerment.

27 Participatory Opportunities CEBs and Pentecostal groups offer women
Both groups opens opportunities for women to lead other women Both Brazilian CEBs and Colombian Pentecostal churches encourage the formation of mothers’ or women’s clubs. Also provide neighborhood prayer groups held at home by women. Women can also lead religious services in discussion groups Though these activities they may learn useful skills like public speaking, than may also gain an important measure of confidence. Opportunities available in the church Catholicism offered few leadership opportunities for women inside the church. Pentecostal women can attain leadership and status by becoming faith healers Opportunities in nontraditional preaching roles Aimee Semple McPherson founded the Foursquare Gospel, a major Pentecostal church In CEBs both women and men can organize and lead the official Sunday celebrations when in absence of a priest Remaining Restrictions The Catholic Church continues to ban female ordination Therefore will never reach top roles Some Protestant churches have no formal ban or ordination but seems to informally deny women’s leadership last a certain level. Religion does not open new career or income opportunities for women

28 What Extent do Pentecostal Women Take Advantage ?
In Quetzaltenango, Guatemala a 2,000 member church originated in a Presbyterian women’s prayer circle. This examples shows the potential for women leaders is significant, but women do not respond to the opportunities in great numbers In general, Pentecostal women are not active as preachers on leaders outside of sex-segregated prayer groups Most Pentecostals are poor, more so than CEBs members. Therefore many member are employed outside the home This may lead them to see this not as a desirable expansion of their roles or a key to independence but as a burden to their home. It is difficult to see if their new religious roles carry over to politics because Pentecostals generally appear mistrustful of politics in general. Women have made gains in the authority in the home Pentecostal women are able to capture a larger share of male income for the family Regaining control of income spent on alcohol and extramarital affairs. All poor women want to gain greater control over husbands income but Pentecostal women have an advantage of doing so. Male converts are essentially called upon to adopt female moral norms Renounces spending on drinking and women They must bring their spending in line with female preferences for spending on family consumption. Only 7% of Presbyterian and Foursquare women said women should be obedient to their husbands, in contrast to 36 percent of women from other denominations.

29 What Extend do CEB Take Advantage
CEB women appear more likely to expand their new roles to public spheres than Pentecostals. More involved in religious actives in sex-integrated groups, more predominate in community councils, liturgy committees, and important public ministries like baptism, leading Sunday worship services, and many serve as community representatives Appear to facilitate women’s expansion of nonreligious public roles Differ a little from Pentecostals in terms of domestic gender roles Their roles produce more domestic problem, usually from husbands More likely to identify with traditional domestic roles.

30 Sources Alvarez, Sonia “Women’s Participation in the Brazilian ‘People’s Church’: A Critical Appraisal,” Feminist Studies 16: 2. Briggs, Sheila “Women and Religion” in Beth B. Hess and Myra Marx Ferree, eds., Analyzing Gender: A Handbook of Social Science Research (Beverly Hills: Sage). Brusco, Elizabeth “The Household Basis of Evangelical Religion and the Reformation of Machismo in Colombia.” PhD Dissertation, City University of New York. Burdick, John “Gossip and Secrecy: Women’s Articulation of Domestic Conflict in Three Drogus, Carol "Religious Change and Women's Status in Latin America.

31 Gender Wages In Brazil Gabriel Moore

32 Brazilian Census Form 60’s to 2000
Gender wages on the Brazilian census shows, from that long term trends in racial and gender wages disparities in the urban market of Sa Paulo, that Afro- Brazilians and women have made remarkable progress over the past four decades in securing rights and gaining access to the highest levels of schooling, entrance into higher paying occupations, and narrowing the gender wage gap. Despite the progress Afro-Brazilians and women are paid less than qualified whites, and wage discrimination is increasing ( Peggy A lovell.1).

33 Men Vs Women and the disparities of school and occupations
Afro- Brazilian men percent of schooling during the 1960 was 1 percent and went up to 29 percents in the 2000. Afro- Brazilian exclusively employed 94.2 percent of the blue collar jobs like manufacturing, service, and domestic work . white men percent of schooling was ranging from percent and went up to 50 percent in the White men often get the higher paying jobs occupational jobs . Even if the their educational levels does not meet the qualifications. Women the percent of afro- Brazilian women completed nine or more years of school was 2 percent in 1960 and rose 37 percent in the 2000 that is a 35 percent difference over the past 40 years. Despite the consistent overall educational advantages, and racial inequalities only 6 percent of Afro-Brazilian women are employed after completing 12 or more years of schooling compared to 23 percent of white women respectively is employed white women who had completed nine or more years of schooling increased from 18 to 61 percent over the four decades 23 percent of white women respectively is employed .

34 Afro- Brazilian vs White women's occupations
66 percent of Afro-American women work as domestic servants compared to 24 percent of white women. white women make up 37 percent of the higher paying administrative, professional, and clerical occupations. Over the next two to three decades, in Sao Paulo developed a highly diversified industrial economy, more Afro- Brazilian women began to make significant progress inserting themselves into the more "pink" and white-collar occupations for instance ( clerical,professional,and administrative jobs) increased by 28 percent between 1960 and 1991 (Peggy A Lovell5).White women experienced a similar 27 percent gain in proportion employed in the higher-status occupations (Peggy A Lovell5). The racial index of dissimilarity among women declined from 35 percent in 1980 to 30 percent in 1991 indicating an overall narrow racial gap among women in occupational distribution (Peggy A Lovell5). Despite these gains of afro-Brazilian women being employed as domestic servants remained about 38 percent in both the 80's and 90's. In 2000, both racial groups exit out of the "pink" and white- collar occupations and entered into lower-paying service jobs (Peggy A Lovell5). Afro- Brazilian women that were in the "pink" and white-collar occupations jobs declined 12 to 8 percent respectively from the 90's to 2000 (Peggy A Lovell5). During this decade, white women employed grew from 7 percent to 22 percent T (Peggy A Lovell5).The Afro-Brazilian women education decline.

35 Age Structure between Genders
Landowners strategy to reducing cost is to employ women that range from the ages of 30s and 40s. But significantly hire women that are in there 50s. Landowners don’t hire women less than the age of 30 because they are consider not disciplined and may not be use of the long hours. According to landowners interviews over 70 percent of the women between the ages 30 to 50s. Landowners explained that women with more experience and who are married and have responsibilities they tend to take work more seriously . And the landowners preferred that because they are perceived to be more passive and interested in getting involved in political activities. And less likely to flirt with the male workers and generally have more experience of working in the Grape branch.

36 Continued Land owners tend to hire young men in the teens
Land owners fill that young men can handle the physical task and are more focus unlike younger women. Landowners don’t like to hire men that are approaching the age of retirement .

37 Gender Discrimination and Harsh Working Conditions for Women: Maquiladoras in Mexico
Lisa Van Sparrentak

38 Introduction to Maquiladoras
When the United States and other more industrialized countries began building factories, or maquiladoras, just over the U.S. Mexican border, workers migrated from all over Mexico for the chance make money. Harsh working conditions (long hours, no breaks) Little sleep Extremely poor living conditions (no running water or electricity) Pick food from garbage piles Cannot keep a family out of poverty even with a job

39 Background Just over the U.S./Mexican border there are over 3,000 maquiladoras manufacturing and export assembly plants; huge companies such as Sony, Ford, General Electric, and Panasonic. The United States, Japan, and Europe are the main owners of these harsh working environments Began in the 1960’s /NAFTA with U.S., Canada, and Mexico. The companies that have products made in these maquiladoras only pay for the value added; the cost of the labor. Pay $0.55 to $7 an hour, workers cannot even buy the products they make, let alone support their families.

40 Discrimination Against Women
About 2,000 more maquiladoras were built, employing 500,000 workers. These factories produce electronic equipment, clothing, plastics, furniture, appliances, and auto parts. Ciudad Juarez has the most maquiladoras of all Mexican cities (308 plants). Women make up the majority of the workers in these maquiladoras because they are believed to be the more docile workforce, can be paid less than males, and are believed to have better manual dexterity Women hired at extremely young age Before they are married and ready to start a family Maquiladoras enforce birth control to prevent this, or workers are fired

41 Discrimination Cont’d.
The cultural beliefs in Mexico almost allows the factories to ignore when a woman is beaten, raped, or assaulted at work. Because of their beliefs that a woman’s place is in the home, if she is beaten, raped, or assaulted it is her fault; she was in a place that she shouldn’t have been.

42 In conclusion I feel that while the negative impacts of maquiladoras far outweigh the positive, they will not be leaving our society any time soon. While workers are being exploited and can barely afford food and housing, they are still willing to work in maquiladoras as they provide employment to anyone looking for a job. Leaves the people of Latin America with a terrible impression of the U.S.

43 Sources Brown, Cynthia J, Wendy V. Cunningham. Gender in Mexico’s Maquiladora Industry. The University of Texas-Pan American < >. Catalist. Mexico Making Progress in Gender Equality. 9 March <>. Cravey, Altha J. Women and Work in Mexico’s Maquiladoras. United Kingdom: Rowman and Littlefield, <>. Jorgensen, Sierra. Maquiladoras and the Exploitation of Women's Bodies <>. Vargas, Lucinda. The Border Economy. Maquiladoras: Impact on Texas Border cities. Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. June 2001 <>. Winn, Peter. Americas. “The Changing Face of Latin America and the Caribbean.” Third Edition. Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2006 World Bank. Poverty in Latin America and the Caribbean. “The Economics of Gender in Mexico: Family, Work, State and Market.” <,,contentMDK: ~pagePK: ~piPK: ~theSitePK:841175~isCURL:Y~isCURL:Y,00.html>.

44 Women and Gender Issues
Women and Politics in Chile By: Edricka Hardge

45 Women fighting for democracy
In Chile, politics was an issue that only men were supposed to deal with. Women were expected to stay in the household and take care of the family. Because of this, many feminist women started to organize groups to fight for equality, democracy, and peace in their country.

46 Political Movement Organizations
One of the groups created during the 1930’s were called MEMCH (the movement for the emancipation of Women in Chile). This organization was formed to open the door for social and political influence. They demanded political rights for women, and also to create more jobs. In 1949 women received the right to vote with the help of MEMCH.

47 “Women for Life” During the 1980’s when General Augusto Pinochet was still the dictator of Chile, a group was formed to restore democracy and to prevent people from voting for Pinochet in the upcoming election. This organization was successful in convincing people not to re-elect and for this reason the economy turned around and more jobs became available.

48 Michelle Bachelet 1st Female President
Attended the University of Chile and studied medicine. In 2002 she was elected head of the Defense Ministry , being the first woman in charge of the administration. Served as president from , she fought for women, education, reduction of poverty.

49 Sources – goggle search “Chile democracy history” ( ) /p/Bachelet_chile.htm Winn, Peter – Americas “The Changing Face of Latin America and the Caribbean” Third Edition: University of California Press © 2006

50 Sex trafficking/Human trafficking
Kaitlin Doud

51 What is human trafficking?
“Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery where people profit from the control and exploitation of others.” Elements of force, fraud, or coercion are used to control people. Then, that control is tied to inducing someone into commercial sex acts, or labor/services. Source:

52 International trafficking
“Human trafficking affects every country around the world, regardless of socio-economic status, history, or political structure.  Human traffickers have created an international market for the trade in human beings based on high profits and demand for commercial sex and cheap labor” Source:

53 Statistics An estimated 27 million people are in modern-day slavery across the world. 161 countries are reported to be affected by human trafficking by being a source, transit, or destination count. The majority of trafficking victims are between 18 and 24 years of age. 53% of victims are used for forced commercial sexual exploitation, of whom 98 percent are women and girls. All statistics were found at:

54 Where are victims trafficked to and from?

55 Latino Residential Brothels and other Related Trafficking Networks
Residential brothels are typically informal, cash-based underground businesses which operate in residential and non-commercial areas. Common venues include: homes, town homes, condos, apartments, and trailers. Typically, residential brothels maintain a flexible and mobile status. The majority of Latino residential brothels tend to be “closed networks,” restricted for Latino men only. These brothel networks frequently do not advertise through formal venues such as online or through paid advertising in newspapers, magazines, or the Yellow Pages. Instead, they get the word out through the low- cost printing and distribution of business cards (a.k.a., “tarjetas”) and through word of mouth. Source: Latino Residential Brothels At-A-Glance, Polaris Project

56 Latino Residential Brothels and other Related Trafficking Networks cont.
The victims present within these networks are almost always women and children from Latin America and are recruited through a variety of means. The individuals providing commercial sex within these brothel networks are in a situation where they have commercial sex with high volumes of men per day. With typical business hours often spanning a 12 hour day, the women in these locations may have sex with more than 20, 30, or even 40 men per day. Women typically live and sleep at the brothel location and often do not leave the premises while located in a specific residence. Then, the women are rotated to a new location every 1-2 weeks. Source: Latino Residential Brothels At-A-Glance, Polaris Project

57 Take action! The Polaris Project: United Nations Association:
United Nations Association: The Coalition Against Trafficking in Women:

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