Women and Citizenship in Mexico and Guatemala
The main objective of this chapter is to analyse how and why, in the context of democratisation in Latin America, women’s emerging demands for citizenship have been linked to the discourse of human rights. An underlying theme of the essay is the need to examine struggles for citizenship closely, with an eye to the historical specificity of each situation. While the dominant theoretical paradigm built on the work of T.H. Marshall has proved very useful in understanding the development of citizenship in Europe and North America, the experience of Latin America highlights how significantly such struggles can vary across space and time, necessitating new theoretical understandings and frameworks. We begin with brief portraits of women, human rights and citizenship struggles in Guatemala and Mexico. While both states have recently liberalised politically, in neither case is democracy an assured outcome. The challenges facing women of the popular classes vary, however, because of the specificity of each case.