Daily life and political participation: The role women played in Buenos Aires tenants' strike in 1907

Inés Yujnovsky

Abstract

Between 1870 and 1920, the modernization process in Argentina stimulated the arrival of a large number of immigrants when the cities were not prepared for this demographic explosion, which caused a difficult housing problem. In the city of Buenos Aires, many poor immigrants were forced to live crowded together in the so-called conventillos, rented slums located at the city centre. In 1907, almost 10% of the Buenos Aires population joined a tenants’ strike demanding public health measures and rent reductions. This paper examines how the press viewed the living conditions in the conventillos and highlights the role of women in demands linked to everyday life. In Argentina, women were not given the vote until the second half of the twentieth century. However, in the period under study, women actively participated in public life through informal mechanisms. The tenants’ strike and the role women played in it originated an intense debate in the press of the period, which included a discussion of possible solutions to bad living conditions that prevailed in lower-income housing areas and in the city in general. Although the various newspapers had very different ideological standpoints, almost all of them supported the strikers and called for public health improvements.

Keywords

Gender; Women; Family; Housing; Rent; Tenants; Strike; Demonstration; Public opinion; Everyday life; Press; Photograpy



DOI: https://doi.org/10.14198/fem.2004.3.08





Copyright (c) 2004 Inés Yujnovsky

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