Women's movements in Bolivia : Building solidarities

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http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:hulib-201710315591
Title: Women's movements in Bolivia : Building solidarities
Author: Alajoki, Lotta
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political and Economic Studies
Publisher: Helsingin yliopisto
Date: 2017
Language: eng
URI: http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:hulib-201710315591
http://hdl.handle.net/10138/228194
Thesis level: master's thesis
Discipline: Kehitysmaatutkimus
Development Studies
U-landsforskning
Abstract: Women’s movements in Bolivia have long been divided into different feminist groups and organizations on the one hand, and indigenous women’s movements on the other. Indigenous women have generally considered feminism to be an urban, middle-class ideology that is not compatible with their conception of gender and does not represent them. They have preferred to be active within the indigenous movement, which stresses the idea of decolonization as key to achieving gender equality. Even with these differences, attempts have been made by different women’s movements to work together in order to have a stronger voice around gender-specific issues in the national debate. In this thesis, frame analysis is employed to examine such efforts of cooperation. The data is a report published in connection with a conference that brought together representatives from several different women’s organizations, with the goal of advancing dialogue between them. The frames that these activists use are examined in order to analyse how those frames address differences between women and what kind of frames are most successful in using differences as strength. The frames that emerge from the data are grouped into three broad categories. First, there are universalistic frames that see a common identity of women and a shared experience of oppression as a starting point for solidarity. Second, there are local frames that ground themselves in the specific struggles to find common ground between different women’s movements in the Bolivian context. These frames base the idea of solidarity on common goals and agendas. Third, there are frames that take a personal approach and present personal accounts of struggles and processes of change. These frames are able to incorporate multiple identities into a personal narrative and to treat solidarity and coming together as an ongoing and open-ended process. The frames in this data that are best able to celebrate differences as strength are certain local and personal frames that move away from broad, conceptual definitions of patriarchy and feminism and towards lived experiences and shared struggles. They focus on the process of coming together and building alliances, which opens them up to differences and to dialogue. However, a more profound analysis of power and privilege is still lacking in all these frames.
Subject: Bolivia
women's movements
feminism
indigenous women
intersectionality
identity
social movements
framing


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