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After the Revolution: Gender and Democracy in El Salvador, by Ilja A. Luciak

By Ilja A. Luciak

"Gender equality and significant democratization are inextricably linked," writes Ilja Luciak. "The democratization of crucial the US calls for the entire incorporation of ladies as citizens, applicants, and workplace holders." In After the Revolution: Gender and Democracy in El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala, Luciak exhibits how former guerrilla ladies in 3 principal American nations made the transition from insurgents to mainstream political gamers within the democratization process.

Examining the position of ladies within the a variety of phases of innovative and nationwide politics, Luciak starts with girls as contributors and leaders in guerrilla events. ladies contributed drastically to the innovative fight in all 3 nations, yet thereafter many similarities ended. In Guatemala, ideological disputes lowered women's political effectiveness at either the intra-party and nationwide degrees. In Nicaragua, even if women's rights grew to become a secondary factor for the progressive get together, ladies have been still in a position to positioned the problem at the nationwide schedule. In El Salvador, ladies took major roles within the innovative occasion and have been in a position to contain women's rights right into a large reform time table. Luciak cautions that whereas energetic measures to enhance the political position of girls have bolstered formal gender equality, in simple terms the joint efforts of either sexes can result in a profitable transformation of society according to democratic governance and noticeable gender equality.

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Even then women were not accepted as full-time members. At that time the predominant thinking was that a “woman was useful only to cook the meals in the house where those who were in the underground lived, wash their clothes, run their errands, [and] serve as cover for clandestine personnel. It was never contemplated that a woman could be an officer in charge of an underground structure. ”33 Gladys Báez remembers that her brothers-in-arms “thought that when a woman joined, they had their meals and laundry taken care off.

28 Women who were sympathetic to the FSLN’s revolutionary goals started to organize in the 1960s. In 1963, a group of women sharing a left-wing ideology formed the Federación Democrática (Democratic Federation). 29 In 1967, women organized the Alianza Patriótica Nicaragüense (Nicaraguan Patriotic Alliance), which served as a recruiting pool for FSLN cadres. 30 Until then, women had served only in support roles, acting as messengers, providing safe havens, and preparing the peasantry for the impending creation of a guerrilla foco (a center of guerrilla activity that would, according to Che Guevara’s theory, eventually spark an uprising) in their area.

About 15 percent were actual fighters with an additional 11 percent acting in support roles. 19 Finally, it is significant that based on the gender composition of those FMLN fighters over sixty years old, more men were in support positions than women. The controversy over the part female combatants played is part of the larger question of gender relations during the war. There is a tendency among some protagonists and students of the Central American revolutions to glorify male-female relations during the war.

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