Image source: Pressenza. - Photo: 2019

Chilean Women Fight for Genuine Gender Equality

By Pía Figueroa

The writer is Co-Director of Pressenza, humanist, author of several monographs and books. This feature appeared first in

SANTIAGO DE CHILE (IDN) – The hashtag #lastesissenior was broadcast on Twitter December 6. It had not been communicated before by social networks. It quickly became a trending topic in Chile. And this came as a surprise, though everything had been organized with a lot of discretion.

In the afternoon, women over 40 years of age massively attended the performance “A rapist in my path” in front of one of the most iconic places of repression during the years of the military dictatorship: the National Stadium. This compound was a detention and torture centre. The gender violence was now denounced and the women who were tortured during the dictatorship were made visible.

The feminist choreography created by Las Tesis has traveled around the world. It has been represented in many places, viralized by social networks and is part of the various ways of manifesting itself in the social outburst that has taken place in the country over the past 48 days.

Some of the organizers of the Senior Thesis warned that different women dared to speak out to denounce their own abuses, violence sometimes experienced many years before, and that they dared to personalize the lyrics of “A rapist in your path”. They made an audio-visual record to reinforce these denunciations and recorded those who appropriated the lyrics in order to tell it or sing it in the first person.

Many other participants resonated especially with the last stanza that was added for the occasion:

We don’t want your people to represent Me

In the Constituent Assembly

We must be present

The rapist is you

The rapist is you

The rapist is you.

As a direct allusion to the fact that until today the politicians who signed the Peace Agreement and a New Constitution have not been able to agree on equal participation between men and women in its drafting.

All the women dressed in black, painted their mouth red and wore a red scarf around their necks, blindfolded. And in spite of belonging to a generation that knows about social struggles because it is the generation that got rid of the military, to which they are the protagonists of the 30 years of that pseudo neoliberal democracy from which Chile says it has already awakened, those women whose place has been taken by the young feminists today, were encouraged today to go out again to dance and chant together – with a powerful voice – the stanzas that denounce the patriarchy and the different forms of violence against women.

The massive intervention forced to stop the traffic on Grecia Avenue since the thousands of women not only occupied all the sidewalks that allow the entrance to the stadium, but also both roads leading up to the Avenue.

After the intervention, Marcela Betancourt, spokeswoman for the conveners, told us: “We want to participate equally in the constituent convention, we want to put an end to human rights violations, particularly against women,” she said.

“The transformation must be feminist. If it’s not feminist, it’s not a real social transformation,” she said, “especially since this senior generation has had to endure many abuses: How did we allow this to happen? This new generation teaches us that we will never be alone again,” she added. [IDN-InDepthNews – 08 December 2019]

Image source: Pressenza.

IDN is flagship agency of the International Press Syndicate. –

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