Stories of Girls’ Resistance
Milagros, Argentina


“…it seems fundamental to me that it is a de-colonial and anti-capitalist Latin American feminism because it is something that, well, that I talk a lot with my colleagues in the militancy, and obviously neither adult-centric. That it is a feminism for all – inclusive – and that it comes so as to restructure all those theories that are hegemonic, of feminism, of how it has to be, but to return to that, and lay our own foundations of popular feminism that is there and organize ourselves.”

Milagros’s Story

Milagros was born in Gran Mendoza at a public hospital when her mom was 20 years old. She has three younger brothers and sisters who are 14, 12, and 5. When her parents got divorced in 2015, due to domestic violence, she had to play the role of caretaker, mainly because her mother had two jobs to support everyone’s expenses.

She named the domestic violence that her mom experienced as a paradigm change, and she knew that “this happens not only here at my house, it did not only happen to my mother, it didn’t only happen to us, there are a bunch of women out there who are going through the same thing. I don’t want to leave this as something private; I want  to make it visible, I want to make it public.”

That’s where her feminist fight began, precisely at the moment when she began to notice that kind of violence. This led her to attend marches. The first march she attended was on March 8, 2016, accompanied by her mother. She continued to go by herself, but that first one will always hold a special place in her heart as it was her first experience and where she got her green scarf (pañuelo verde) from the girls representing the national abortion rights movement. To her, the green scarf symbolises the deconstruction of systems. She continues to hold to the green scarf that she received with love and pride, and now hands out many green scarfs.

To Milagros, wearing the green scarf on her backpack is a political act. Even more for adolescents or girls, because that usually creates discomfort with certain people at school or in the street. Adults tend to react and say: “why are you wearing that scarf? Or, if you don’t know anything about it, first learn to take care of yourself. You don’t know anything!”

It is also a political act to have collective spaces for and by girls. That’s why in 2017, the girls who frequently met at the marches decided to get together. They organised spaces to discuss different topics and, with time, they formed the feminist collective: “Las Wuachas  Sororas.” They used the word guachas because they wanted to reclaim girlhood as a political subject which is why they changed the G to a W.

At the same time that Milagros participated in girls and youth collectives, she participated in “Ni una menos,” a feiminist organisation comprised of women working across efforts. Unfortunately, in this space, she experienced adult centric practices within social movements and the way in which girls and youth are excluded and ignored. Due to this experience, she felt it was very important to connect more with her peers. And on March 8, 2018, they held the “Girls and Women International Strike,” which recognised girls as part of the movement.

Milagros also shared that girls and youth played an important role in the national efforts to legalize abortion. And, believes in the importance of breaking adultcentrist approaches from organisations that only think adults need abortions or have abortion rights. She wants people to acknowledge and recognise girls and youth as political actors with a voice and the ability to build and create change while maintaining healthy intergenerational alliances. She recounts the importance of listing to girls and youth, as she explained: “plenty of times it even has happened to me, seeing myself talking on their behalf, and I think: No! I can’t talk in their name because they have their voice, they have their ways to make their demands.”