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"Without the true liberation of women, it is impossible to truly liberate the peoples. I am convinced that a true socialist should also be a true feminist". Hugo Chávez - March 8, 2009
Aiming to "develop and strengthen popular power", the Venezuelan National Assembly passed in 2010 an Organic Law on Communes. The organization around these structures has resulted in real impacts on the decisions related to the life of communities. In the effective process to build a "communal" State, different experiences were introduced aiming to achieve more justice and equality. The struggle for the liberation and autonomy of women is among them.
Yolanda Saldarriaga is a member of the Popular Feminism, Identities and Revolutionary Sexualities School, "a space for the articulation of groups, organizations, sex-gender diversity and feminist activists, which was created based on different capacity-building actions among these organizations where women supported each other to develop a gender line", she explained.
In 2013, after the death of Hugo Chavez, the activists decided that the space should be more permanent: “We are working on this. We currently have experiences in 6 States of the country that are part of the School". The groups and organizations that carry out the different lines of work, from attention in cases of violence against women to the experience, for instance, of Women for Life, in Lara State: "They are joining the communities, strengthening organization processes by women in the community.
Particularly with the creation of Gender Equality Committees. The advocacy work takes place in different forms: talks, seminars, workshops, and we have our annual general meeting", she said.
The feminist activist considers it is fundamental to develop communes to strengthen and consolidate revolutionary changes in Venezuela: "Communes are the backbone of our political proposal as a revolutionary process, which is the Communal State. Our process to dismantle the bourgeois State is building in parallel a new form of State, which is a popular State; the commune is to tool that allows to position all our struggles in the territory", she highlighted.
About the goals of the Popular Feminism School, Yolanda said: "What we want is to strengthen the presence and proposals of women and sex-gender diversity in the communal parliaments (...). Our work has to do with breaking with patriarchy in these territories".
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