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Devaki Jain Lecture with Sonia Montaño

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Mary Ogilvie Lecture Theatre

St Anne's College

Woodstock Road

Oxford

OX2

United Kingdom

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How a Bolivian became a Feminist: A Personal History

Sonia Montaño is a Bolivian sociologist. She is currently active in Bolivia as a feminist researcher and activist and member of PIEB (Programa de Investigation Estrategica Bolivia). Between 1993 and 1995, she was Undersecretary of Gender Affairs at the Ministry of Human Development of Bolivia. Between 2000 and 2015 she was Chief of the Division for Gender Affairs at the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC, United Nations), providing leadership to regional conferences on women of Latin America and the Caribbean.

The history she will share is a particular mix of a biography within the influence of a socio-cultural context. Sonia was born in the fifties when Bolivia was initiating a revolutionary process that gave indigenous people, peasants and women the right to vote and acces to education. Raised in a discriminatory society and by a courageous mother and a liberal family she could very early see women wanting to do “different things”. She lived and participated in a country suffering of continuous authoritarian governments and dictatorships and numerous efforts to establish democracy. Her adolescence was influenced by the emerging of a strong workers movement fighting for their rights, the presence of Che Guevara that stimulated an early political participation that ended in 1972 when the Banzer dictatorship sent her to jail for a couple of months. This was followed by a long exile to the Netherlands and France where Sonia was able to study and meet women from all over the world which started her activism as a feminist.


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Mary Ogilvie Lecture Theatre

St Anne's College

Woodstock Road

Oxford

OX2

United Kingdom

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