Indigenous feminist activism in Guatemala : defending women's human rights in the vernacular
Faculty of Law
College Park, Md
Feminist studies. - College Park, Md
, p. 1-39
University of Antwerp
In this article, we trace how indigenous feminists in Guatemala built on their experience in revolutionary organizations when creating indigenous womens organizations in the post--‐conflict period. We argue that, since many womens rights activists mobilized for the first time under the aegis of revolutionary organizations, this experience has shaped their ideas about social mobilization. To explain the evolution from revolutionary activists to indigenous womens rights activists, we use the framework of social movement spillover (SMS). While this theory sheds lights on part of the organizational evolution, our case--‐study (Organización de Mujeres Mayas de Kaqla) also challenges some of its premises. Kaqla has developed an approach which can be seen as a reaction against its revolutionary legacy rather than a continuation thereof. Its approach is firmly rooted in Mayan cosmovisión and womens own experiences. Through their approach, they seek to contextualize and localize the allegedly universal discourse of womens rights. The concept of localization highlights how local sensitivities can feed back into international norms on womens rights. However, the case of Kaqla also indicates how a more feminist interpretation of this concept can further increase its theoretical and practical relevance, by bringing womens experience into the analysis.