Women’s Voices on the Executive Council: Popular Organizations and Resource Battles in Bolivia and Ecuador


Dosh, P., N. Kligerman, and J. Lerager. 2010. “Women’s Voices on the Executive Council: Popular Organizations and Resource Battles in Bolivia and Ecuador.” Latin American Perspectives 37 (4): 214–37. doi:10.1177/0094582X10372514.

Authors: P. Dosh, N. Kligerman, J. Lerager


In the 2000s, Bolivia and Ecuador were marked by battles over natural resources in which mass mobilizations challenged the neoliberal privatization of resources such as water and natural gas. In El Alto and Quito, these mobilizations boosted the public standing of women whose frontline militancy helped confront privatization and build momentum for the election of women to top leadership. Although gender discrimination persisted, women’s activism in these resource battles demonstrated to men their capacity to lead in arenas other than health, family, and education. In the wake of these conflicts, variations in women’s voice—the power to speak, set agendas, and dictate discourse—on the executive councils of popular organizations prove to be determined by societal sexism, leadership and training opportunities for women, the presence of more women on the executive council, the status of the council seats won by women, and the particular organization’s decision-making process.

Keywords: Bolivia, Ecuador, women, natural resources, social movements


  • Examines five natural resource protest movements and compares the relative gains made by women participating in each.


“To explain variations in women’s voice, our comparative analysis focuses on five explanatory factors: societal sexism, leadership and training opportunities, change in presence, change in status, and decision-making process.” (231)

Topics: Civil Society, Economies, Extractive Industries, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Governance, Infrastructure, Energy, Water & Sanitation, NGOs, Political Economies, Political Participation, Privatization Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Bolivia, Ecuador

Year: 2010

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