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A Social History of the Women’s Movement in Guatemala and Nicaragua

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Chapter Summary

In Nicaragua women were mobilized by the thousands into guerrilla movements and revolutionary organizations in the last quarter of the twentieth century. This chapter explores the modalities of women's wartime mobilization in Nicaragua and Guatemala, and examines the factors explaining this type of mobilization which was different in both countries. It considers the period before the signing of the peace treaties, the pre-1996 period for Guatemala, and the pre-1991 period for Nicaragua. The chapter first considers the Nicaraguan case and then the Guatemalan one, and points out significant similarities and differences between both cases which shed light on the development of the respective women's movements. The central factors for the chapter are women's economic role, their revolutionary mobilization, and the role of international actors. The international organizations played a crucial role in sowing the seeds for a civil society in the period of armed conflict and immediately after it.

Keywords: armed conflict; Guatemala; guerrilla movement; Nicaragua; revolutionary mobilization; women's economic role; women's movement



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