Against all odds, in uncertain and violent times, Colombian women are mobilising for peace. They do so even when they face ongoing violence and personal threats from a variety of armed actors. Despite a well-established tradition of studying women’s social movements in times of conflict, there is a lacuna when it comes to analysing feminism as a mobilisation strategy. This article uses the case study of the League of Displaced Women, the Liga de Mujeres Desplazadas(LMD) to illustrate the utility of Zulver’s High Risk Feminism framework to explain how and why women chose to build the City of Women, despite the real and threatened danger that this implied. The article narrates the history of the LMD, from its foundations in a geography of marginality to its creation of a space of resistance for displaced women and their families. In all, this articles demonstrates how feminist resistance has not only become a way of life for the women of the LMD, but also a strategy for creating pockets of safe places in the midst of a conflict zone.
Violence against women in El Salvador – a country made fragile by a vicious Civil War and the subsequent burgeoning of murderous youth gangs – has been described as lying on the knife’s edge between public and private (Hume 2009). Women’s experiences of violence are often invalidated by wider society for violating a normalised culture of ‘patriarchal privacy’. Yet despite widespread violence, Salvadoran women have created opportunities and avenues for mobilisation in defence of their safety and well-being. This article showcases these efforts, with an eye towards the various forms of agency that women adopt, create, modify, and employ to counteract fragility in their daily lives. It will introduce high-risk feminism – an original framework that applies a gendered lens to a composite of social movement theories – in order to highlight the uniquely gendered dimensions of women’s mobilisation in El Salvador. This article is hosted by our co-publisher Taylor & Francis.
Zulver, J. (2014). High Risk Feminism in El Salvador: Women’s Mobilisation in Violent Times. Oxford University Bodleian Library Collection.