For the 34th Year in a Row, Women from Argentina Gather to Celebrate Feminism 

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Women from Argentina Gather to Celebrate Feminism Women from Argentina Gather to Celebrate Feminism Melissa Castaño

International Encounter of Women, or ENM,  that’s the name of the feminist summit that is held in Argentina during the second weekend of October. This year the guest city was la Plata and women from all over Argentina travelled to the country’s capital to join other fellow feminists and live this amazing experience.

This gathering has been happening in Argentina since 1986, the year it was born, where 1000 women attended and participated in 21 different workshops that talked about feminist concerns. This year it is believed that the summit held around 80 000 participants and 89 workshops. Another great difference from the first editions is that now not only women of all kinds of races, clases and backgrounds are welcomed, but also of different sexualities such as lesbian, no binaries and from previous opposite sex, such as trans.

Although the summit is designed to be open to different women, there was a tense debate during the 3 days due to its name. Since last year, more women began to express the necessity to change the name of the gathering from national to plurinational. This to embrace not only women who were born in the country and consider themselves Argentinian but to also welcome women who were born in the same territory but identify with their indigenous roots and tribes instead of the Argentine Republic.

Nonetheless this didn’t hurt the union and support that you could feel at every corner of the city, from women who by the smile you could tell that felt completely free, safe and happy to be able to have a space where they could talk about their issues without being rejected, judged or attacked.

89 workshops were held at the different faculties of Universidad Nacional de la Plata. Here thousands of women gathered to talk about an array of different topics such as history, politics, sex, sports, education, art and many many more. Once the workshops were concluded and each woman was heard, all of them either joined a march advocating on a specific cause or assisted the different cultural activities that were planned to celebrate feminism and its huge impact during the recent years.

As a non Argentine citizen that has had to endure a lot of machismo since my early childhood and who was raced in a completely conservative and male dominant culture, I was blown away by this amazing event. It was almost unbelievable to be able to see that many women all together for the same cause, standing up for our rights. Being open about our fears, our traumas and our dreams for a more equal society where our future daughters, nieces, grand daughters, or if not, the future little girls of this world can live without fearing violence.

From now the green color has become our flag on and the massive green wave that is flooding the end of South America is ready to flood the rest of the world as well, coming for every girl and woman who wants to be respected, loved and appreciated for being who they are. Even though some weeks have passed from this magnificent event, every time I see another woman smiling at me on the street I can still hear inside my head: el patriarcado se va a caer, se va a caer!

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