Expanding women’s rights around the world

Mount Holyoke’s Cora Fernandez Anderson spoke with Argentina’s Elizabeth Gómez Alcorta, who leads Argentina’s Ministry of Women, Gender and Diversity.

By Keely Savoie Sexton 

On Dec. 29, 2020, Argentina legalized abortion until the 14th week of pregnancy.

The victory was the culmination of more than 15 years of activism around the issue. 

In 2019, a new administration was elected and created the Ministry of Women, Gender and Diversity to ensure that women’s voices were heard at the highest level of government. 

Cora Fernandez Anderson, assistant professor of politics at Mount Holyoke College, interviewed  Elizabeth Gómez Alcorta, who leads the ministry, for Ms. mMagazine. They discussed the ministry and its role in everything from implementing the new law to new topics such as the gender gap in caregiving tasks.

The two talked about all the forms that violence against women can take — from physical to political — and how the new ministry will combat violence at all levels. The ministry anticipates a long and difficult battle in attempting to implement and expand new laws protecting women’s rights and eliminating gender-based inequality, but they are prepared to fight, said Alcorta. 

Those opposed to the new law permitting abortion up to 14 weeks have already filed a judicial presentation to declare the law unconstitutional. Alcorta believes that this is the first of many challenges, but that justice and equality will prevail.

“We knew this was going to happen, even one senator stated they would do it when she voted against legalization,” she said. “This doesn’t have us worried, but it will imply a large investment of time and resources to fight this.”

Read the full interview.