I found out about the existence of the Encuentro Nacional de Mujeres (National Women’s Meeting) a few years ago, but only in this occasion I had the means to travel and attend it.
During that time, my curiosity for feminism evolved into a more solid knowledge, then comprehension and finally, thanks to the Encuentro itself, in political activism.
Just like my awakening to political consciousness and citizenship, I made an effort to explore and understand the different points of view and strategies within the women’s movement.
I found myself within a world of ideas, considerably more complex, diverse and contradictory than an ideology or a political-party-oriented identity.
The following excerpts were selected and translated from Spanish by me.
There are links to the original content at the end of each section.
Year after year, women from all corners of Argentina get together to try and make our thousands of voices heard, through an open, democratic and participatory system.
These meetings are the most important expression of the fights and struggles we face in our different places, neighborhoods, cities, homes, works, etc.
In them, we all learn together, we say it is one big school. We share our experiences among women from very different places in our country. Thousands of us discovered through the Encuentros that the daily oppression we endure is not our destiny.
We do this through a practice that contradicts the social practices imposed upon women, and it is in the workshops of the Encuentro where we recover the voices of those of us who have no voice.
Thus we strengthen this democratic, horizontal and heterogeneous space, which has no owner because it belongs to all of us.
I dedicate this post to my sister, friend and fellow feminist Hawzhin, a.k.a. The Middle Eastern Feminist.
It was thanks to her that I learned about the YPJ forces and the struggle of the Kurdish people for their independence and against ISIS terrorism.
This text was originally published in her Facebook page.
An essential objective of the Kurdish YPJ (Women’ Protection Unit) is to challenge the gender norms in relation to war; including women’s role in war as well as to exist as a visible psychological boost for women in war-torn communities, demonstrating that women are not weak or passive and can actively work to defend themselves and their communities.
By the same token, their existence challenges male perception that in war women are passive subjects ready to be killed, maimed, abused, etc at the whim and will of male aggressors. Continue reading