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Suffrage And Human Rights In Latin America Within The 1900’s

1685 words - 7 pages

Following the wars of Independence, in the early 1800’s, Latin American countries adopted a representative form of government based on a constitution. Newly independent countries weren’t immediately full-on democracies, so citizens weren’t yet given full rights. Suffrage was limited to free men who owned a certain amount of property or engaged in specific occupations. Only 5 to 10% of the population was eligible to vote and participate in the government due to anarchist, socialist, and communist parties that overruled in some countries. However, revolutions in many countries began, in which many of them were initiated because citizens longed for more rights. In the 1900’s, within an eighty-year period, the rights for humans in Latin America were a part of many movements and society overall. Universal suffrage was a phenomenon. Many different philosophers and rulers contributed different perspectives in relation to rights of the individual over this course of time. Specific historic events influenced ways in which people were deemed equal or represented. Movements of ethnic and cultural pride, involving political figures were of great importance. The involvement of other countries also significantly impacted human progression in Latin America, setting a precedent that countries in Latin American would later replicate.
Within the 1900’s women strongly resisted military regimes. The struggles of women were recognized worldwide as an example of resistance to dictatorship, which was a significant moral impact. In Latin American countries, women joined together in different groups or held protests dealing with issues throughout society. In Brazil, women joined “militant motherhood, ” where they discussed how human rights were abused and the rights of political prisoners. In Argentina, a group known as “Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo,” demanded info on loved ones who had disappeared. Female “arpilleras” in Chile expressed anger and grief through forms of art. Chilean women challenged Pinochet dictatorship, so through protests they’d sew arpilleras, which were traditional Chilean tapestries (**EK, 301). In the late 1900’s women began to receive more benefits and job opportunities. By 1970, 16% of employed females had professional or technical jobs.
The first nation to grant women the right to vote was Ecuador, in 1929. However, they required literacy tests at polls. In 1933 Uruguay, Brazil, and Cuba followed in suit of Ecuador, but it wasn’t until 1947 and 1953 when Argentina and Mexico gave into women’s voting rights (Tenenbaum). The last Latin American countries to allow women’s suffrage were Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, and Paraguay in the 1950s, which made voting compulsory within certain age limits.
Prior to the turn of the century, human rights were granted to different countries through long processes. Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, and Chile had experienced a lack of rights for decades, until this time period when their countries freedoms were...

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