Colóquio Internacional TLSA-PT

Timor-Leste:A Ilha e o Mundo

7 a 11 de setembro 2020Colóquio Online

The Evolution of Women’s Emancipation Movement In The Struggle of National Liberation

Nuno Rodriguez Tchailoro Independent Researcher

The women's emancipation movement that emerged during the struggle for national liberation played a pivotal role in the overall process of the national liberation itself. This means that the national liberation movement gave birth to the women's emancipation movement. The origins of OPMT (Organização Popular da Mulher de Timor) itself cannot be separated from its involvement in FRETILIN as the first nationalist movement which paved the way for its existence. The birth of the OPMT encouraged the common objective of women’s struggle which was not merely to liberate the people, but to emancipate women as well.
However, I argue in this paper that the transformation in the direction of the independence resistance also had an impact on the struggle for women’s emancipation, to a great extent since FRETILIN cast aside its revolutionary program, along with the ideal for women emancipation in 1981. This happened in the context of the limited space attributed to women in the course of the struggle for independence, which tend to be dominated by the role of men. Nevertheless, the women's movement remained in existence, pursued its own path and was deeply engaged in the struggle for their emancipation which evolved with the national liberation movement.