Women and Social Movements: Engendering Argentina’s Piquetero Movement


Barker, Karina. 2007. "Women and Social Movements: Engendering Argentina’s Piquetero Movement." Undercurrent 4 (1): 57-65.

Author: Karina Barker


The piquetero movement arose in Argentina in the 1990s as a response to high rates of unemployment, and a sizeable proportion of this movement – including some of its most militant members – are women. In a context where it is often assumed that women play less of a visible role in the public sphere than men, this paper explores what reasons can best explain women’s high participation rates in the piquetero movement. This paper argues that women are involved in the movement in such large numbers for three main reasons. First, the movement is framed in a way that encourages the creation of a unitary, collective identity along traditionally gendered divisions of labour. Despite the problematic, gendered nature of these framing methods, they have nevertheless enabled women’s easy involvement in movement. Second, participation in the movement allows women to meet practical gender interests, thus encouraging their participation. Finally, membership to the piquetero movement can address women’s strategic gender interests. This paper is largely grounded in Molyneux’s (1985) theory on strategic and practical gender interests, and the findings are partly based on field research, participant observation and personal discussions in Greater Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Topics: Civil Society, Gender, Women, Livelihoods, Political Economies, Political Participation Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Argentina

Year: 2007

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