Globe, Latin America, Migrants, Multiculture

The forgotten female liberators

A conference being held in Lima hopes to restore the memory of women involved in the attainment of Latin American Independence and to recognise them for their work.  The event will be celebrated  on the 22nd, 23rd and 24th of August 2013.



Las mujeres, las libertadoras  5The revolt of José Gabriel Amaru in the viceroyalty region of Peru, the rising of the ‘comuneros’ or rebels of Paraguay, and the revolt of the Catari brothers in Potosi in Bolivia are just three examples of the actions of those fighting for independence.They covered almost all of Latin America in achieving independence from Spain, but they only identify the men.

However, the presence of women can also be highlighted among the figures that led these revolts as they too were prominent in leadership and military operations during this time. Yet, despite the important work taken on by women, historical recognition has been male dominated, making only the men into national heroes.

Because of this, different academic and commemorative events have been organised all over Central and South America with the aim of crediting the women with the recognition they deserve.

Las mujeres, las libertadoras  3The first international congress,  Women in the process of Independence in Latin America, which is soon to be celebrated in Lima, Peru, aims to contribute to the “Reconstruction of the active presence shown by women during revolution and in the wars of independence.”

The event will coincide with the 200th anniversary of Latin American independence. It will form a part of a series of activities that have been organised since 2009 such as the Fourth International Conference on the Women of Latin American Independence.

Las mujeres, las libertadoras 12At this event it was noted that the work of such women saw “A change from their position of subordination, which had been previously denied to them by the colonial system in place at the time”

It also confirmed how women had been excluded from the history of Latin American nations, and highlighted that recognition should have been given, not only to the important heroines and female liberators, but also to those unidentified women who fought for independence.

Las mujeres, las libertadoras  11The event organisers have noticed that the last few years have seen the study of the acquisition of Independence dominated by masculine figures, by identifying the main male contenders in battle and in political, social and economic fields. This further relegates women to being minor players.

The first international congress, taking place in August, will aim to bring to public attention the fundamental role women played in achieving Latin American independence.

It will do this by dealing with questions such as: What were  women’s main areas of participation? How did they operate? How extensive was their participation? What happened to the indigenous women? Etc.

Michelle Bachelet
Michelle Bachelet

The event, which has been organized by the Centre for Women’s Studies in the History of Latin America (CEMHAL), will be held in Lima on the 22nd, 23rd and 24th of August 2013.

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(Translated by Koreen Walsh – Email:







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