Cit­i­zen­ship and polit­i­cal par­tic­i­pa­tion crosses the insti­tu­tional and legal dimen­sion of the “equal oppor­tu­ni­ties sys­tem” (i.e. the quota debate in pol­i­tics, aca­d­e­mic worlds, direc­tive posi­tions) and the bottom-​up action of women’s move­ments. In fact, on the one hand, cit­i­zen­ship issues are related to polit­i­cal par­tic­i­pa­tion in the insti­tu­tional sense of the con­cept, but on the other, cit­i­zen­ship process are related to the con­sti­tu­tion of col­lec­tive sub­jects and the trans­for­ma­tion into polit­i­cal of some social demands which were not seen as polit­i­cal ones before (Fraser, N., 1992).

A com­par­i­son between the EU poli­cies aimed to pro­mote polit­i­cal par­tic­i­pa­tion (through direc­tives and rec­om­men­da­tions) and the Latin Amer­i­can social move­ments is par­tic­u­larly rich in research out­comes. In fact, Latin Amer­ica schol­ars have devel­oped inter­est­ing inno­v­a­tive research approaches in mat­ter of the polit­i­cal par­tic­i­pa­tion look­ing at: com­mu­nity par­tic­i­pa­tion (agency of local women; indige­nous groups); par­tic­i­pa­tion in mil­i­tary con­flicts; polit­i­cal lead­er­ship; gen­der and pop­ulism. In the Latin-​American case, espe­cially in South Amer­ica, democ­racy recu­per­a­tion was linked to women’s col­lec­tive orga­ni­za­tion for resist­ing the dic­ta­to­r­ial gov­ern­ments and for fight­ing against neo-​liberalism and its con­se­quences: dis­man­tling of the Estate pub­lic poli­cies, the cri­sis of the work­force, the increase of unem­ploy­ment, the pri­va­ti­za­tion of pub­lic enter­prises, decen­tral­iza­tion, the pau­per­iza­tion of labour con­di­tions and labour rights, the invis­i­bil­ity of dou­ble or triple work­ing day and spe­cific dom­i­na­tion over women.

About the issues that were not seen as polit­i­cal before, we can refer to the process that made mater­nity a polit­i­cal sub­ject car­ried out by Madres y Abue­las de Plaza de Mayo. We can also make ref­er­ence to the new vin­di­ca­tions which show the con­nec­tion between body and politic, such as sex­ual and repro­duc­tive rights and the claims for abor­tion right, just men­tion­ing the most obvi­ous ones (Jónas­dót­tir, A.G., 1993). The known fem­i­nist slo­gan “the per­sonal is polit­i­cal” allowed think­ing as polit­i­cal cer­tain areas of every­day life that were not con­sid­ered polit­i­cal before (Bethke, E. 1980). Last years trans­for­ma­tions in Latin Amer­ica make nec­es­sary the reflec­tions about the con­nec­tion between indi­vid­ual sub­jec­tiv­ity and col­lec­tive sub­jects, between expe­ri­ences, often per­sonal and impos­si­ble of shar­ing, and the processes through which these expe­ri­ences may come col­lec­tive, able to be com­mu­ni­cated and polit­i­cal. These issues are extremely cru­cial for Europe as well (Haber­mas, J., 1991).