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).