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Mexican-American feminists meet in Houston


On this day in 1971, the three-day Conferencia de Mujeres por la Raza started at Magnolia Park YWCA in Houston. Also known as the National Chicana Conference, it was the first interstate assembly of Mexican-American feminists organized in the United States. An estimated 600 women from twenty-three states attended it. Many of the participants were students, social workers, and others who represented the radical elements of Mexican-American women's political movements. Nonetheless, they were linked to earlier, more moderate women's groups, such as Cruz Azul Mexicana and Ladies LULAC. Gender discrimination, abortion, and birth control were given as much importance at the conference as inadequate educational opportunities, racism, welfare support, and employment discrimination. The conference participants were not, however, united. An estimated half of the delegates walked out of the meeting, urging that the conference focus on racism, not sexism.

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