Military participation and moral authority: women's political participation in Nicaragua, 1975-1995
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Shaughnessy, Lorna. (1995). Military Participation and Moral Authority: Women's Political Participation in Nicaragua, 1975-1995. UCG Women's Studies Review, 3, 151-165.
The growth of a dynamic and assertive constituency of women in Nicaragua is inseparable from the most recent phase of 'Sandinismo' in Nicaraguan history. An examination of the complex and ever-changing relationship between the Frente Sandinista and the women's movement is therefore a key element of the paper. The accelerated rate at which Nicaraguan women assumed a central place in national politics in the period from 1970-80 has much to do with their participation as combatants in the guerrilla insurgency of the 1970s,and the radicalisation of motherhood brought about by a combination of political, economic and cultural features of Nicaraguan society at this time. This paper seeks to provide some clues as to why the joint icons of mother and guerrillera have been so powerful in Nicaraguan society, and to examine why, since 1991, the women's movement has broken ranks with the Frente Sandinista, and now operates as an autonomous network of organisations.