PAF! Feminist Initiative for Argentinian Party: The New Revolution of the Old Julieta
One hundred years ago, feminist pioneer Julieta Lanteri, took the word “Boldness” to the maximum allowed for a woman at the beginning of the 20th century. In 1911 the city of Buenos Aires asked the neighbors to sign the electoral roll, regarding the municipal elections. Julieta, finding out that nothing was said about gender, enrolled at St. John Evangelist Parish in La Boca, which was near her home. On November 26th, the Election Day, she became the first woman in voting, 38 years before another pioneer, Eva Peron, released the law that recognized the right to vote for women, in 1949.
Lanteri was a revolutionary in many senses. She was one of the first female physicians. She organized the First International Congress on Feminism in Latin America. She was the first woman running as candidate for the Parliament. She was organizing the First Feminist Party in Argentina when a car accident took her life and her dreams of an equal society with women 100% included.
Julieta’s revolution didn’t die. Her legacy has been collected nowadays, when women are entitled to vote and participate with full rights in all areas of social life. To recover her mission and fully enforce it, a group of women from Buenos Aires have decided to found the first feminist party in Argentina.
It was in a round table, a cold night in July, in one of the hundreds Pubs in Palermo - a trendy and avant-garde area of the city, well known for artists, designers and writers - where this group of women found out not only was necessary women be widely represented in power position; it was power itself that needed to be changed. So, they decided the foundation of Argentinian Feminist Party (PAF in Spanish) and give “A Slap to Patriarchy”- as slogan says.
A poet, a journalist, a psychologist, a researcher, a blogger, a business women, a grass root leader; they have different names, activities, age, origin. But when talking publicly, they want to be called Julieta: “We believe in equality and in a new style of power, we are far away from personalizing our voices. We share goals and vision; we are inspired for the same figure. We’re all Julieta Lanteri. Our name is Julieta for the world in our political path."
The objectives of this 21th century Julieta’s revolution are: Achieving a greater representation of women in political position and change patriarchy structures: “We create a Feminist Political Party to take action based in the principles of universal feminism as ideology. For us, Feminism is a way to look and shape the world according to gender equality."
Having a women president is just the beginning; the raising of issues and initiatives led for women addressed to women for increasing presence in power position and transform the patriarchy power and policies according to feminist vision is the core of their work: “We consider it necessary the creation of this party in the current historical moment, because we don’t have a channel for feminist initiatives in the context of existing political parties and politics in general.”
Argentinian Feminist Party declares the country needs today to go deeper in subjects like reproductive health; trafficking, sexual exploitation and all forms of slavery; separation of church and state, pronouncement of a secular nation; promotion of gender education and non-sexist language in all speeches and practices; empowerment of women; protection against the criminalization of gender in judicial proceedings, among other issues the organization is thinking proposals around.
They are starting with great expectations: “We have been actively involved in the last Female meeting of Southern Buenos Aires; we also raised our voice in the National Women Meeting held last October in Bariloche”.
Argentinian Feminist Party is waving nets of collaboration with other movements and organization from different sides of society: Unions, environment and cultural movements, community based initiatives, among others, To join forces and strength the power of actions in behalf of women: “Together with other organizations, we ran an "open radio" in the suburbs on November 25th where we spread our message and invite the neighbors to express their views about gender issues and women's rights."
The old Julieta’s new revolution led for PAF - A slap to Patriarchy- is open to everyone, not only women: “We call all Argentinian citizens, without distinction of race, gender, sex, belief, race, profession, hobby, past, future, to join our movement upon the principles of feminism, to build a more equitable representation for people in social, political and economic areas”.
Maybe the mission that death didn’t allow Julieta Lanteri to end will be successfully crowned by the new Julieta’s Argentinian Feminist Party, with this 21th century revolution for the revival of a courageous and bold struggle in behalf of women rights.
An edited version of this story was published in Women News Network http://womennewsnetwork.net/2011/12/11/argentinas-women-step-into-greate...
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