Latinos and Latinas today take gender equality as a given. But in the early days of the Chicano Movement for Civil Rights of the1960s and 1970s, Chicana women activists were often  the unrecognized supporters of their more visible male counterparts. At the same time, the Women’s Liberation Movement was sweeping the nation, causing thoughtful Chicanas to ponder their own situation.  One of the first meetings of Chicanas to address gender inequality was convened at the 1969 Denver Youth Conference. Veteran civil rights activist, author and feminist Elizabeth “Betita” Martínez, who began her activist career working with the Students Non-Violent Action Committee (SNCC) before moving on to the Chicano Movement, recalls the debates at the Women’s Caucus and the surprising conclusion.



    We faced a triple degradation because we are women, Raza women and poor women. Though much has changed over the years, issues of racism, discrimination, sexism, oppression still exist against us. In the early days of the 70's Chicanas formed themselves under the name of Mujeres de Aztlan or Mujeres de La Raza in the Santa Clara County of Califas to empower one another in the Chicano Movement. We said that if one sector of our people continued to live in human suffering and bondage none of us would be liberated as a whole. Chicanas of those days just like today knew and understood the importance of our participation to implement the struggle for justice and equality for our people as a United Raza Familia and were not afraid to take leadership roles because we got tired of being La Criadas and not sitting at the tables that makes decisions. It is from these past Mujeres in our Chicano Movement that we are able to learn and educate ourselves about such documents as EL PLAN DE LAS CHICANAS of the Mujeres de Aztlan/Confederacion de la Raza Unida that we have today EL PLAN DE LAS MUJERES DE AZTLAN that has been introduced to our current Chicano struggle. VIVA LAS MUJERES DE AZTLAN!

    • latinopia says

      Dear Doreen, Thanks you for your great comment! In the future Latinopia will be featuring more of the interview with Betita Martinez as well as with Dolores Huerta. Tia Tenopia

  2. Josefina Salinas says

    Beautifully well said, "I used tell my dad and my husband if we work along side you in the fields are'nt we equal and above because we still go home cook, bath kids." My husband was cool he begun to understand that a women really worked harder than a man and was not given her place. He also helped me the our children and cooked went grocery shopping and so on. My dad and brothers used to make fun of him, " saying who wears the pants in your family, "he use to tell them, both of us wear them, we are an equal unit to our family..

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