Latina Mobilization: A Strategy for Increasing the Political Participation of Latino Families
The Second-Wave feminists attempted to create a clear path for female political leaders. Caucasian women clearly benefited most substantially from the movement, and African American women have made some progress, particularly at the state level. In this chapter, Christina E. Bejarano and Valerie Martinez-Ebers expose the perceived disparate impact among the Latina community in which visible female political leaders are extremely rare, and the vast majority of Latinos are unable to name even a single important Latina political leader. Bejarano and Martinez-Ebers contend that Second-Wave Feminism did, in fact, impact Latinas, but the efforts of Latinas in the movement have not been well documented or publicized by scholars or the media. Rather, their successes have been overshadowed by their male counterparts. Bejarano and Martinez-Ebers demonstrate how Latinas’ increased community participation provides them with stronger civic skills and stronger ties to their community/institutions, which, in turn, can also be linked to their higher political participation levels and high success rates as political candidates. In an effort to see the broad legacy of Second-Wave Feminism, Bejarano and Martinez-Ebers claim that it is critical to recover this history of Latina activism and to focus on Latinas as catalysts of political change, since women are perceived to be the key to mobilizing Latino families and communities.
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