Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE)

Reader 1

Aseema Sinha

Rights Information

© 2017 Jessica Azerad


This thesis set out to determine the interaction between gender and social movement participation. In other words, it is answering the questions: how are women able to interact social movements and how do social movements enable women to be full participants in their struggle? It uses an intersectional framework to examine two social movements: the Black Civil Rights Movements that took place in the U.S. in the 1950s and 1960s, and the Zapatista National Liberation Front (EZLN) that began in Chiapas, Mexico in the 1980s and works to this day.

For the Civil Rights Movement, it finds that the major organizations did not enact any policies or make any structural changes to incorporate women more fully into the Movement. Furthermore, women that wanted leadership roles in the Movement often had to forge their own by means of grassroots organizing and local women-led political action groups.

For the EZLN, it finds that the organization gave women both leadership positions and military titles, passed the Women's Revolutionary Law that codified women's rights within the organization and the community, and lastly created autonomous municipal governance structures to enforce women's rights.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.