Latin American feminists are mourning one of their most prominent figures, as Uruguayan sociologist Teresita de Barbieri passed away on Monday at 80 years old.
Born in Uruguay but located in Mexico's capital since Chile's coup d'etat in 1973, she pioneered gender studies in the region and shed a light upon the specific challenges and violence that women face in Latin America.
In collaboration with the National Autonomous University of Mexico and the Economic Commission of Latin America, she focused on working-class women in urban and rural areas, domestic labor and daily life, reproductive rights and health, among others topics.
“Gender systems are built upon practices, symbols, representations, norms and values that society grounds on genital differences in order to interpret sexual impulses, the reproduction of the human species, and the relationships between people in general,” she wrote.
She advocated for a gender approach in all public matters dealt with in Congress, in a document titled “Relaciones de Género en el Trabajo Parlamentario.”
In 2012, she received the prestigious UNAM award for “pioneering gender studies in Mexico”
She wrote the books Mujeres y Vida Cotidiana (1984); Las unidades agrícolas industriales para la mujer campesina (1983), La presencia de las mujeres en América Latina en la década de crisis (1986); Género en el trabajo parlamentario. La legislatura mexicana en el fin de siglo (2003); Más de tres décadas de los estudios de género en América Latina (2004).