‘The Contribution of #NiUnaMenos Was to Massify Feminism,’ Says Florencia Alcaraz, Ni Una Menos Founding Member
By Karina Mirochnik
María Florencia Alcaraz is an Argentine journalist, who specializes in gender and human rights issues. She was one of the founding members of Ni Una Menos (Not One Woman Less) a movement of women’s rights advocates that emerged in 2015 in response to an increase in public, brutal femicides, as well as other forms of violence against women. Florencia is now one of the directors of LATFEM, a network of feminist journalists. In this interview with Women Across Frontiers that took place a few days after the abortion law was passed by the Argentina Senate, Florencia discussed the role that Ni Una Menos played in getting the law passed. We asked her how #NiUnaMenos went from a slogan to a movement drawing millions of women into the streets and fighting for abortion rights and here’s what she said.
Watch our interview below:
This interview has been edited and condensed.
“In the first Ni Una Menos rally on June 3, 2015, the leaders who read the document demanding an end to femicide had the green scarfs around their necks but in the document, there was no mention of abortion but there was talk of the right to say no to unwanted pregnancy and there was talk of comprehensive education on sex. What happens in 2015 is that mass feminism is achieved that manages to challenge the society as a whole and goes beyond the traditional activism that we have been used to.”
“I think there is no single way to explain what happened in Argentina. Without a doubt, the existence of the campaign for free and legal abortion made it possible for us to have this law. The contribution of Ni Una Menos was to massify feminism, everyone pushing forward and it is also difficult to export this experience. In other countries, they ask: ‘How did the Argentines get this?’ And it is necessary to explain that there were many antecedents that made up the struggle of current feminism, the fight for human rights, and the mothers and grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo occupying public space. No fight was done overnight. There is a lineage and a feminist genealogy that allowed us to reach this level of massiveness.”
Women Across Frontiers (WAF): The abortion law has been passed, what’s next for you and your fellow feminists?
Florencia Alcaraz (FA): “The abortion law is a starting point, not an ending point. Now comes a moment of feminist pedagogy about this right to be able to speak about and explain to as many people as possible that this is a right that we have and that we are citizens who can make our own decisions about our bodies. We have to insist on this feminist pedagogy and power and democratize it. We, as activists, have to make sure it reaches as many people as possible. The state also has to insist on the pedagogy of this abortion right. It is also up to us to monitor this law or ensure that it is complied with, and that it effectively reaches all people. There will be obstacles on the way since we see that we are facing a very strong conservative anti-rights offensive not only in Argentina but also the rest of the region.”