Violence against women in El Salvador – a country made fragile by a vicious Civil War and the subsequent burgeoning of murderous youth gangs – has been described as lying on the knife’s edge between public and private (Hume 2009). Women’s experiences of violence are often invalidated by wider society for violating a normalised culture of ‘patriarchal privacy’. Yet despite widespread violence, Salvadoran women have created opportunities and avenues for mobilisation in defence of their safety and well-being. This article showcases these efforts, with an eye towards the various forms of agency that women adopt, create, modify, and employ to counteract fragility in their daily lives. It will introduce high-risk feminism – an original framework that applies a gendered lens to a composite of social movement theories – in order to highlight the uniquely gendered dimensions of women’s mobilisation in El Salvador.
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