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Publication Type
Conference Proceedings
UWI Author(s)
Author, Analytic
Shirley, Beverley
Author Role
Presenter
Author Affiliation
Centre for Gender and Development Studies
Paper/Section Title
Divided in Struggle, Undivided in Pain: Women, Politics, and Activism in Guyana in 1970’s
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Proceedings Title
The 2005 Conference on Feminist Economics
Date of Meeting
June 17-19, 2005
Place of Meeting
American University. Washington, DC
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Abstract
Guyana is a plural society comprised of several ethnic groups. Although integrated to some extent, they have all managed to retain some amount of group identity, and remnants of the culture of origination are still being exercised. Though Indo-Guyanese remain the statistical majority with Afro-Guyanese people closely behind in the count, there exists in the minority, the Chinese, Amerindians, Portuguese and other European groups. This paper is located in the 1970s and seeks to understand the perspectives of two groups of women from an ethno-political standpoint-the ways in which activism is conceptualized and bifurcated, skewed to group needs, politics and cultural practices. The paper seeks to understand how politics and ethnicity is intricately interwoven, and as a result, dictate group hegemonic understandings of ideology which in turn influence attitudes and actions. Based on interviews of women involved in politics and activism in Guyana in the 1970s, the paper provides empirical evidence of lived experiences in an attempt to examine the ways in which politics affected women’s lives, spurred activism and revolutionized women’s space. These lived experiences should shed light on the diverse perceptions of the environment and the subsequent varied activist approaches which were viewed as important to resolving issues that affected different women’s lives. Since the 1970s was steeped in political activism, it is imperative that the past be captured with the view to understanding the present and a sense of the future.....
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