UCL Institute of the Americas


March 2021 | Women History Month at UCL Americas


Women History Month 2021 | a UCL Americas digest
March 8 2021 | International Women's Day
Events in March 2021
Selected past events

Every day is 'Women's Day' at UCL Americas, but on this day we salute and celebrate the thousands, the millions of women who make history everyday, throughout the world and especially in the Americas, whatever their role is: the political leader, the social activist, the anonymous citizen, the artist, the scientist. Learn more about what we teach and research at UCL Institute of the Americas via the links in our profile to the various relevant pages of our website: academic staff profiles, teaching modules, news and events.

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Images, in order of appearance in the video:
1. Dilma Rousseff, former president of Brazil from 2011 to 2016; first woman to hold the presidency of Brazil [credit: Official photo, Palacio Alvorada]
2. Domitila Barrios (1937-2012), Bolivian labour leader and social activist, her renowned self-biography 'Si me permiten hablar' (May I be allowed to speak?') portrays her journey from oppressed miner's wife to influential union activist [credit: ©Revista Maíz]
3. Bertha Cáceres (1971-2016), Honduran environmentalist and activist for the rights of indigenous people [credit: ©Wikicommons]
4. María Eva Duarte de Perón, aka Eva Perón or 'Evita' (1919-1952), Argentinean politician and social activist [credit: ©blogspot]
5. Ga'axstal'a, aka Jane Cook (1870 – 1951), was a Canadian First Nations leader and activist of the Kwakwakaʼwakw people [credit: ©Royal British Columbia Museum, BC Archives]
6. Malintzin, aka Marina, La Malinche, (ca 1500-1529), was an indigenous Nahua woman from what is now Mexico, interpreter for Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes; considered key to his advance into the heart of the Aztec empire [credit: ©Lienzo de Tlaxcala, 16th century]
7. Mari-Jane Seacole (1805-1881), British-Caribbean nurse, considered a pioneer in battle-front health provision for the military [credit: ©Albert Charles Challen]
8. Michelle Bachelet, former president of Chile, 2006-2010 and 2014-2018, currently UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. [credit: ©M Bachelet Twitter account]
9. Rigoberta Menchú, indigenous Guatemalan human rights activist, feminist, and Nobel Peace Prize laureate (1992) [credit: ©Grupo BCC]
10. Rosa Parks (1913-2005), American Civil Rights movement activist. US Congress called her 'the mother of freedom movement'. [credit: ©NBC News]
11. Aleida Guevara, Cuban paediatrician, human rights, international health cooperation and debt relief activist [credit: ©Cubanet]
12. Dame Eugenia Charles (1919-2005), first female lawyer in Dominica, and later on first female Prime Minister of Dominica [credit: ©CaribbeanNationalWeekly]
13. Augusta Chávarri del Castillo aka Yma Sumac (1922-2008), Peruvian singer and film star, famous for her exceptional voice range; met with great success, mostly in Hollywood and Europe [credit: ©Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images)
14. Grace Jones, Jamaican fashion model, singer, composer and entertainer; one of the first black women to triumph in the world of fashion modelling and design [credit: artwork album 'Nightclubbing' ©gracejones.com]

Credit: background image: 'Marie Jeanne Lamartinière' © Haiti-born Patricia Brintle, by kind permission

Events in March 2021

During Women History Month 2021 we will be organising three events to mark the month, two as part of own suite of events, and one in collaboration with the Institute of Historical Research, University of London.

March 3

Book launch: Los Feminismos en América Latina

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March 10

Fanm Rebèl: Excavating the Histories of Haiti's Women Revolutionaries

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March 16

El dinero no es todo: Compra y venta de sexo en la Argentina del siglo XX

An event organised by the Institute of Historical Research Latin American History Series

Dr Patricio Simonetto
El Dinero no es Todo

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We are fortunate at UCL Americas to count on top-notch scholars in Gender Studies amongst our academic staff, and to be able to offer this area of knowledge to our students as one of our strong areas of study and research. In this section you will find a small selection of our academic staff's numerous pieces of research and publications.

Mercedes Crisóstomo | PhD candidate

Mercedes is working on her research project Militant Women in the Peruvian Revolutionary Projects before the Internal Armed Conflict, under the supervision of Professor Paulo Drinot and Dr Kate Saunders-Hastings. Her doctoral project examines the 1960s and 1970s through the experiences and memories of left-wing militant women, both from urban and rural settings, who took part in revolutionary political parties aspiring to challenge and change the Peruvian status quo.

Mercedes has already published extensively, as author, co-author, editor and collaborator, on themes such as agrarian reform, armed conflict, and gender rights, including the book Género y conflicto armado interno en el Perú. Testimonio y memoria. (ed.) Lima: Fondo Editorial Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (2018) and the article 'Women’s Rights in Peru: insights from two organizations.' Global Networks Journal, Vol 9 (4), 485-506, co-authored with Alayza, R. (2009)

Genero y conflicto armado interno en el Peru

Professor Paulo Drinot | Professor of Latin American History

Paulo Drinot's main research focus is the history of Peru in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. His thematic interests include labour history and state formation, racism and exclusion, gender and sexuality, the social history of medicine, and memory and historiography.

In 2020, Professor Drinot published The Sexual Question. A History of Prostitution in Peru, 1850s-1950s, a landmark study that charts a cyclic process of regulation and abolition in Peru, uncovering the ideas, policies, and actors shaping the debates on prostitution in Lima and beyond. The history of prostitution, Paulo Drinot shows, sheds light on the interplay of gender and sexuality, medicine and public health, and nation-building and state formation in Peru.

The Sexual Question. A History of Prostitution in Peru, 1850s-1950s

Dr Malu Gatto | Assistant Professor of Latin American Politics

Can conservatism make women more vulnerable to violence?

A joint study with Dr Victor Araujo, exploring the links between conservatism and violence against women in Brazil, pulbished in 2021 by the open-access preprint platform Advance | Social Sciences and Humanities, and soon to be published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Dr Malu Gatto

Find out more about Dr Gatto's research and teaching.

Mallory Horrill | PhD candidate

Mallory's doctoral project, Victorian Image of Canada: English Gentlewomen and their Perceptions of Canada 1830-1900, explores the English Victorian female perception of Canada and the female influence on creating and/or altering the Canadian image. The formation of the Canadian identity in the Victorian era has largely been discussed from th male lens, this work aims to address this significant missing chapter. Through the examination of primary materials produced by a number of female settlers and travellers which speak to the women's experiences in Canada, Mallory analyses women's experience and reflections of Canadian society, politics and nature, their understanding of and interactions with the French Canadians and Indigenous Peoples of Canada.

Phoebe Martin | PhD candidate

How have women in Peru used cultural contestations to challenge dominant discourses? Cultural forms of protest, or 'cultural contestations', have long been crucial in allowing marginalised groups, particularly women, to provide alternative and oppositional narratives. Phoebe's doctoral project Culture as protest: the uses of art and performance to tackle cultural gender norms in Peru looks at how cultural contestations have been used by women in Peru; comparing how cultural actors, activists, mainstream media, and the state construct narratives in relation to sexuality, the body, motherhood, and sexual violence.

Phoebe has participated in multiple events both within UCL at other prestigious institutions. Her participations include the paper ‘Poner la cuerpa’: The Body as a Site of Reproductive Rights Activism in Peru – at the conference Cultural Politics of Reproduction in Latin America conferencein January 2021, and, in 2020, the co-organisation of the gender-themed workshop Andinxs: Addressing Contemporary Politics and Gender in the Andes’, which brought together scholars from Latin America and Europe to discuss the increasingly contested relationship between politics and gender in the Andean region.

Phoebe is a member of the editorial collective Feminist Perspectives blog, and is the author of the blog: ‘The 'Pañuelo Verde' Across Latin America: a Symbol of Transnational and Local Feminist (Re)volution’ Feminist Perspectives, KCL


Professor Maxine Molyneux | Professor of Sociology

Maxine Molyneux’s current research is on the transformations of welfare systems in Latin America, citizen participation and accountability in social protection in Latin America; and the history and politics of Latin American feminism. Find out more about the vast research undertaken by and the large number of books, articles and chapter she has published over the years on the theme of women's rights and gender justice.

Gender, Justice and Development
Movimientos de mujeres en America Latina

Carolina Páez Vacas | PhD candidate

In the 1990's, for the first time, the Ecuadorian state addressed adolescent pregnancy as a public health problem. Despite two decades of public efforts to deal with this issue teenage pregnancies had climbed at alarming rates. Carolina's doctoral project, titled The Children of Chuzalongo: the Politics of Motherhood in Ecuador deals with thedaily actions that adolescent mothers display in order to provide care within a state project.

Carolina Paez Vacas

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Previous events

Over the years, UCL Institute of the Americas has undertaken a policy of public engagement, organising various series of open, free events: seminars, book launches, roundtable discussions, film screenings and workshops. Women's rights is one of the main themes of our events series.

November 23 2020

Latin American Countries and Women's Rights and Needs during the Pandemic

Dr Constanza Tabbush (UN Women), Dr Silke Staab (UN Women), Dr Eleonor Faur (National University of San Martin and Institute of Economic and Social Development, Argentina), Dr Bila Sorj (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), Dr Paola Jirón (University of Chile), Dr Jasmine Gideon (Birkbeck College, University of London), Professor Maxine Molyneux (UCL Institute of the Americas)

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July 16 2020

Sexing the Blue Tide: The Backlash Against Sexual and Gender Justice in Latin America

Dr Constanza Tabbush (UN Women); Professor Maxine Molyneux, Professor Jonathan Bell (both UCL Institute of the Americas)

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Book launch: 'Just Watch Us: RCMP Surveillance of the Women's Liberation Movement in Cold War Canada'

Dr Christabelle Sethna (University of Ottawa); Dr Steve Hewitt (University of Birmingham)

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November 2 2017 

Eva Perón and the Women's Vote: Credit Where It's Due?

Dr Jill Hedges (Oxford Analytica)

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March 13 2017

Politics, Gender and Health: Insight from Argentina's Provinces

Professor James McGuire (Wesleyan University)

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May 12 2016

'Stop Asking the Women to Workshop You': Cultures of Inequality in Higher Education

Dr Say Burgin and Dr Kate Dossett (both Leeds)

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Violence Against Women in Mexico and Central America

Laura Carlsen (CIP Americas Program), Marilyn Thomson (CAWN - Central America Women's Network) and Lorena Fuentes (Birkbeck College, University of London)

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