Mobilization Without Emancipation? Women’s Interests, the State, and Revolution in Nicaragua

Authored by: Maxine Molyneux

Categories: Statebuilding
Sub-Categories: Democratization and Political Participation, Political Transitions
Country: Nicaragua
Region: Latin America and the Caribbean
Year: 1985
Citation: Molyneux, Maxine. "Mobilization Without Emancipation? Women's Interests, the State, and Revolution in Nicaragua." Feminist Studies 11, no. 2 (1985): 227-54.

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This article focuses on the Nicaraguan revolution and its progress since the seizure of state power by the Sandinistas in July 1979, in order to consider the proposition that women’s interests are not served by socialist revolutions. The article examines how women are affected by government policies in the aftermath of a successful revolutionary seizure of power in which they participated on a mass scale. The first part of the discussion reviews some of the theoretical questions raised by this debate, particularly the matter of “women’s interests.” The second section describes and interprets the policies that the Sandinista state has adopted in relation to women in order to determine how women’s interests are represented within the Sandinista state.Women in Nicaragua have certainly not achieved full equality, let alone emancipation. But the argument set forth here takes issue with the view that women’s interests have been denied representation or have been deliberately marginalized through the operations of the “patriarchy.”