Union women organizing towards a gender perspective at Frente Auténtico del Trabajo (FAT) in Mexico City: A study on their strategies, obstacles, and the inclusion of men
This thesis takes the stance that globalization and neoliberalism have dramatically altered gender relations in Mexico. Women’s increased access to the paid labor force has caused conflicts and a demand for the revision of traditional gender relations. From this background, I examine women’s organizing towards gender equality through a case study conducted at a confederation of independent labor unions called Frente Auténtico del Trabajo (the Authentic Labor Front, FAT) in Mexico City. The thesis explores the relations between these women’s movements and concepts of strategic gender interests, citizenship construction, and gender equality within the still largely patriarchal culture of Mexico. Moreover, women’s and men’s attitudes towards and possible obstacles in achieving gender equality and a gender perspective at FAT are extensively discussed and related to the above-mentioned theoretical concepts. The inclusion of men in gender equality issues is also considered. The research was conducted through semi-structured interviews, participant observation, and literature collection. My theoretical standpoint is that women are developing strategic gender interests as they realize they are being marginalized, which leads to their organizing towards a gender perspective. With their organizing they are engaging in the development of a more democratic citizenship that takes into account women’s interests. I also argue that men should be actively included in gender issues at FAT, in order for the gender perspective to be successful.
women and citizenship
independent labor unions