Gender, power and territory: Lessons from the Scottish and the Catalan Women’s Movements

GT 1.10 Género y Poder

Alba Alonso Álvarez (Universidade de Santiago de Compostela)
Sesión 1
Día: miércoles,15 de julio de 2015
Hora: 09:00 a 11:30
Lugar: Aula 3

It is often assumed that prominent territorial identities undermine the women’s movement since gender identities become less relevant. Scotland and Catalonia offer a great opportunity to test this hypothesis. Both regions have witnessed intense decision-making processes as regards the possibility to be an independent state. This paper explores comparatively the way in which their respective women’s movement reacted to this major event. It is argued that three relevant contextual factors have led to two different responses: the legal-political framework; the ideology of the party leading the referendum campaign; and the priority issue of the women’s movement. In Scotland, the women’s movement witnessed a remarkable boost. The fact that the debates focused on how an (non)independent Scotland would look like, the  emphasis put on welfare and economics by the leading party –SNP-, and the fact that constitutional issues were already on the movement's agenda during the devolution process contributed to this remarkable change. On the contrary, in Catalonia the women’s movement has not been so engaged or organizationally modified. Here, the right to hold an independence referendum is being the main topic under discussion, whereas the pro-referendum campaign has been led by a right-wing party –CiU- which has not shown much interest on equality issues. In addition, the attempt to restrict reproductive rights by the central government has gathered much attention from the Catalan women’s movement. These three elements account thus for different reactions, and align this work with the so-called conditional approach, which is context-sensitive.

Palabras clave: Género, movimiento de mujeres, independencia, Cataluña, Escocia