Mujeres ’94: Democratic Transition and the Women’s Movement in El Salvador

Authored by: Michelle A. Saint-Germain

Categories: Statebuilding
Sub-Categories: Democratization and Political Participation, Political Transitions
Country: El Salvador
Region: Latin America and the Caribbean
Year: 1997
Citation: Saint-Germain, Michelle A. "Mujeres '94: Democratic Transition and the Women's Movement in El Salvador." Women and Politics 18, no. 2 (1997): 75-99.

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Periods of democratic transition may provide space for increased political participation by women. Often, however, women’s participation inexplicably falls off after the transition period to former low levels. This article argues that the form women’s participation takes in transitions is crucial to both the shape of the resulting new democracy, and the subsequent impact of the new democratic institutions on building or sustaining a women’s movement. A case study of the 1992-1994 transition period in El Salvador suggests that women must be present and contribute to the transition; form autonomous organizations but remain engaged with the state; and transform their political behavior from opposition to interaction with the new state.