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Women’s policy agencies in Latin America. A qualitative comparison of four cases

Tatiana Rein
University of Essex
Tatiana Rein
University of Essex
Open Panel

Abstract

State Feminism Approach was developed as an outcome of an investigation of single and comparative case studies from the western post-industrial democracies, conducted within a collective fifteen-year project by the Research Network on Gender and Politics and the State (RNGS). The completed project has left ground for further research that can apply the specific approach in cases from other regions, such as Latin America. Employing a qualitative small-n comparison in four countries of South America, namely Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay, this paper looks at the women’s policy agencies (WPA) in these countries, and their openness to the women’s movement organizations, expressed by the incorporation of the latter’s members or demands into the WPA. Both aspects addressed through this analysis correspond to dimensions required by State feminism. All four countries have some form of WPA that were established after the end of the dictatorship periods that all countries went through. The main data for the analysis has been collected from face-to-face interviews with members of women’s movement organizations in each of the countries under study. The findings suggest that the country where the WPA is most open to employing members from the women’s movement organizations is Uruguay, with Argentina being the case where the WPA is least open, and Chile and Brazil standing between the two extremes. Also, it is possible to observe the same distribution regarding the openness of the WPA to the women’s movement organizations’ demands. These findings contribute to the possibility of empirically and theoretically extending the applicability of some aspects of the State Feminism approach on the region, leaving the interplay between the WPA and the women’s movement organizations as well as the impact that all the aforementioned aspects generate on policies as the subject matter of a future research.