Which part do women's organizations play in transition politics? Rethinking economic self-determination and political participation of women - a case study of Cchile Article

cited authors

  • Zwingel, S

fiu authors


  • 'Democracy in the country and at home', 'Democracy will not work without women' these among others were the selfconfident slogans of the Chilean women's movement during the transition of the 80s. When the new democracy replaced the dictatorship in 1990, the publicity and strength of the movement decreased. The Chilean case is not a single one: all over the world, women participate powerfully in situations of crisis, but in the moment of re-establishing stable conditions, they seem to disappear. In this paper, I want to discuss this phenomena in four steps. First, the androcentric character of democracy is approached in a theoretical way: Why do women not fit as much in democratic structures as men do and how could these structures become more 'genderdemocractic'? Second, I give reasons for a gendered view on transition politics: without a separate analysis of women's activities, transition processes will turn out to be gender neutral but free of female protagonists and the stereotype of the 'unpolitical woman' will be repeated. Third, the empirical development of the women's organizations during the Chilean transition period of the 80s and in the consolidating democracy (1990-95) are briefly described. In interview passages, women activists themselves shed light on past and actual activities. Fourth and concluding, I discuss the impact women's organizations already had and could have in future in the still deficient Chilean democracy.

publication date

  • December 1, 1998

start page

  • 687

end page

  • 708


  • 26


  • 6