How did nicaraguan women contribute to efforts to overthrow the government?

Women in Nicaragua during the Sandinista revolution saw their way of life change dramatically. Women were involved as guerrillas in the overthrow of the Anastasio Somoza Garcia regime, as many women mobilized to help the FSLN carry out the revolution. This space was perhaps the first of a Nicaraguan organization created specifically to address women's problems and, in this case, to meet the demands of peasant and working-class women. Today, Nicaragua ranks fourth in the world in terms of women in parliamentary positions and first in the world in terms of women in ministerial positions.

These initiatives are crucial because they allow women to break the dependence on men who are the breadwinners of the family, giving them more autonomy and stopping the cycles of violence that have historically existed in the Nicaraguan countryside. Part of this training consists of dismantling the patriarchal systems that have seriously affected rural areas and replacing them with a model that not only recognizes women as the cornerstone of agriculture, but that values saving seeds, combats sexism, establishes shared responsibilities between women and men and boosts food production. For large sectors of the Nicaraguan population, suggests Lea Guido of AMNLAE, feminism was seen as a Western ideology that only further divided men and women on their path to “mutual liberation.” Recently, new laws protecting women's political and economic rights have been ratified after organizing campaigns by the Nicaraguan women's movement, while women's organizations are receiving unprecedented investment and interest from the socialist government. Institutions such as the Francisco Morazán School of Peasant Workers train both women and men in gender relations and the elimination of violence against women.

The maternal home program, which covers women from rural areas or with high-risk pregnancies, ensures housing, food and prenatal training for pregnant women. With the help of the ATC and the Sandinista government, women have organized to build a primary school in the community, inaugurate a drinking water well, and all women farmers receive training in agroecological techniques that they implement on their plots, contributing to national campaigns for food sovereignty and security.

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