Militant Motherhood Re-Visited: Women's Participation and Political Power in Argentina and Chile


Mooney, Jadwiga E. 2007. "Militant Motherhood Re-Visited: Women's Participation and Political Power in Argentina and Chile." History Compass 5 (3): 975-94.

Author: Jadwiga E. Mooney


This article addresses the immediate and long-term implications of militant motherhood in the Latin American Southern Cone. It contributes a new perspective to the now sizable literature on women's resistance and political participation by comparing militant motherhood under leaderships on opposite sides of the political spectrum. Mothers mobilization could, but did not, by definition, focus on gender equity or feminist goals. Anti-Allende women in Chile demanded military intervention - while the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo in Argentina requested an end to human rights abuses by the incumbent military regime. Both show how cross-national variation in the objective of militant motherhood still led to similar outcomes. The case studies of Chile and Argentina reveal that militant mothers immediate and long-term success lay in the nature of their resistance and their skillful use of tradition. They expanded traditional understandings of motherhood, and helped overcome the limits of gendered citizenship rights that restricted women's political participation.

Topics: Citizenship, Civil Society, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization, Political Participation, Rights, Human Rights Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Argentina, Chile

Year: 2007

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