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“We are the daughters of all the witches that you couldn’t burn”1

12. November 2021


Candela Villalonga, our recent Argentinian trainer for the Bridging Cultures Program, discussed the 'Gender Equality' (5th) Sustainable Development Goal -among others- during her workshops in different High Schools in Berlin. In this article she connects this topic with the case of the abortion legalization in Argentina.

By Candela Villalonga

Argentina is a combination of women quota and macho culture, the adrenaline that football brings with the melancholy tango sings, children’s malnutrition with having more cows than people as its inhabitants. It is a very lively, dynamic, and contradictory society.

There are many unsolved problems in Argentina, as they are in the rest of Latin America. Where structural poverty is still a burden for millions of people, hundreds of hectares of nature are devastated by greedy investors and inequality is at the order of the day. Instead, today, as an Argentinean, I would like to write about something that brings us a bit of hope.

We are actually a very progressive country when it comes to human rights. We are one of the few countries in the world to have judged their own genocides from the 70’s bloody dictatorship for crimes against humanity; we were the second country in Latin America to legalize gay marriage with full adoption rights (and the 10th in the whole world!) and we are always demanding to broaden the spectrum of minorities’ right, such as the 2012’s Gender Identity Law. We have always been a country, which other Latin American countries look up to.

After years and years of being silenced, with a very strong influence of the Catholic Church all around, a femicide happening every 35 hours2, and after 8 consecutive presentations of the Voluntary Interruption of Pregnancy (VIP or IVE in Spanish), women* created a national campaign called “National Campaign for the Right to Legal, Safe and Free Abortion”3 (Campaña Nacional por el Derecho al aborto legal, seguro y gratuito4 in Spanish).

With a very tight difference and after hours and hours of heavily emotional discourses, the law 27.610 for legal abortion passed in December 2020 and it was groundbreaking. From that day on, every person that decides to interrupt their pregnancy can do it during the first 3 months, in a public hospital and supported by health and social professionals.

The “green wave”5 is flooding the rest of Latin America, creating awareness on everyone and pushing forward towards living in a fairer and more empathic world; in which everyone can grow with equal chances and develop their interests without being afraid or feeling constrained; regardless their race, ethnicity, nationality, class, caste, religion, belief, sex, gender, language, sexual orientation, gender identity, sex characteristics, age, health or other status.
In Argentina we know that more rights, always mean a better world.




1 Being deemed a "witch", an extreme, dangerous other, threatening what is considered to be normal, traditional, safe, constituted for many women in the 16th and 17th century a death sentence. Today, many women who do not fit into the categories society wants to put them in may find themselves turned into witches who deserve to be exposed, violated, and in some extreme forms, annihilated. (Source: https://www.news24.com/news24/columnists/guestcolumn/granddaughters-of-the-witches-you-werent-able-to-burn-20181121)

2 https://www.csjn.gov.ar/om/femicidios.html

3 https://www.jstor.org/stable/23719313

4 http://www.abortolegal.com.ar/

5 https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/democraciaabierta/green-tide-right-to-abort-will-be-won-on-streets/. Regional feminist movement that started with the promotion of the legalization of abortion and now it is expanding to other topics)



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