Thursday, March 10, 2016

Meanwhile, in Mexico

Don't worry, this is not a racist joke. It's more kickass women.

In Southern Mexico, in the state of Chiapas, just to the west of Guatamala, there's a rebel army that came about as part of the Zapatista uprising. Women make up a significant part of this army and the rebellion as a whole, which consists of indigenous Mexican people. They emerged in 1994 in an uprising in which they demanded land, freedom, justice, and equality. Before this, apparently, the women of the area were generally severely oppressed. I had no idea any of this was going on.

Women have played an important role in the Zapatista Army of National Liberation, or EZLN, as insurgents in the rebel army, as political leaders in the civilian support base communities, as health and education promoters in the construction of autonomous infrastructure, and as members of economic collectives in the development of the local and regional economy. Women’s involvement in the EZLN helped shape the Zapatista movement, which, in turn, opened new spaces for women and led to dramatic changes in their lives. Zapatista women have participated at all levels of the movement to fight for justice and dignity for the indigenous people of Chiapas and, at the same time, were able to transform their own lives, their families, and their communities.

I recommend reading the entire story of how the women joined the movement and how they experienced rapid social change, going from people who couldn't leave home without their husband's permission to leading marches and facing off against the Mexican police. It's incredible.

I especially like how the article ends.

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