Saturday, April 22, 2017

El Paso: Zapatista Woman

Zapatista Libertad. El Paso, Texas. March 2017.

While on a visit to a community garden in El Paso, I saw this poster laying on a couch in a building that adjoined the garden.

As I've noted before, there are many striking images of strong women in El Paso. Like here and here. These images depict women as full actors in movements for human rights.

The poster above relates to modern-day Zapatistas, a movement that is global in its championship of indigenous group rights, but which has its epicenter in the state of Chiapas, Mexico.

I don't know the original artist of this and similar posters, but Just Seeds is at least one producer of same for purchase.

Although when I think of Chiapas, I think of traditional societies with traditional (read: limiting) roles for women, there is a women's rights platform in the EZLN (Zapatista Army of National Liberation). It is called the Women's Revolutionary Law, with this bill of rights:
  1. Women, regardless of their race, creed, color or political affiliation, have the right to participate in the revolutionary struggle in any way that their desire and capacity determine.
  2. Women have the right to work and receive a fair salary.
  3. Women have the right to decide the number of children they have and care for.
  4. Women have the right to participate in the matters of the community and hold office if they are free and democratically elected.
  5. Women and their children have the right to Primary Attention in their health and nutrition.
  6. Women have the right to an education.
  7. Women have the right to choose their partner and are not obliged to enter into marriage.
  8. Women have the right to be free of violence from both relatives and strangers. 
  9. Women will be able to occupy positions of leadership in the organization and hold military ranks in the revolutionary armed forces.
  10. Women will have all the rights and obligations elaborated in the Revolutionary Laws and regulations.

 The poster references the EZLN flag, which looks like this:

EZLN flag. Source: wikicommons

On a superficial level, I love the artistic imagery of the poster and the flag.

On a deeper, philosophical level, the Chiapas-centered bill of rights for women seems more progressive than what we've got going on in the USA.

Assuming there's substance behind the words.

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