Research project on Argentinian women's daily struggle for justice

Over a period of three years, Florencia Enghel, Associate Professor of Media and Communication Studies at the School of Education and Communication (HLK) at Jönköping University (JU), investigated Argentinean women use everyday communication practices to fight for gender equality. Florencia is the first researcher at JU to have been granted and completed a Global Individual Fellowship within Marie Sklodovska Curie Actions.

Women in La Plata, Argentina manifest in favor of the legalization of abortion in 2020

Women in La Plata, Argentina manifest in favor of the legalization of abortion in 2020.

Argentine women make up 52% of the country's population but are disproportionately affected by poverty, discrimination, and violence. Since 2015, when the feminist movement #NiUnaMenos (a precursor to #MeToo) started, women in Argentina have been protesting injustice with great persistence and increasing strength. One of the ways in which they have done this is through collective mobilizations, both on the streets and online. Florencia Enghel has explored their daily struggles and uses of in person and digital means of communication to see if and how they can lead to greater equality and justice. The three-year study started in December 2020.

“The project was originally designed so that I would spend two years in Argentina. However, as international travel was restricted during the COVID-19 pandemic, this changed. I spent the first eight months of the project working in Sweden and conducting research remotely. In the end, I spent a total of 18 months in Argentina during the project, which also included study visits in Mexico and the UK,” says Florencia.

The research project, entitled “Micro-technopolitics of engagement: Women's everyday communicative practices, digital citizenship and democracy in Argentina”, was made possible when Florencia was awarded competitive funding to carry out a Global Individual Fellowship.

“Having the opportunity to focus on the research project full-time for three years allowed me to develop, expand and strengthen my skills as a researcher. It may sound like a long time, but when you think about the many steps and tasks involved in conducting research, you realize that it is not. Focusing on just one thing may sound boring, but qualitative research means dealing with a complex, ever-changing reality at every step, so you actually never get bored,” she says.

“Communicative everyday activism is an important element of women's empowerment”

#NiUnaMenos handkerchief in Buenos Aires, Argentina, during the International Women’s Day mobilization in 2023

#NiUnaMenos handkerchief in Buenos Aires, Argentina, during the International Women’s Day mobilization in 2023.

The project explored how women in post-COVID-19 Argentina seek to empower themselves through various ways of communicating. The results show how women communicate in everyday life about the problems that affect them, the obstacles they face and the changes they would like to see.

“I showed that everyday communicative activism is an important part of women's agency that enables them to fulfill various strategic purposes, but that it is, in itself, insufficient for solving the broader problem of gender injustice. Its usefulness is limited by democratic shortcomings such as the socioeconomic precarity, political polarization, an information infrastructure disconnected from women's needs and realities, and the persistent lack of progress towards gender equality,” said Florencia.

During the project, Florencia wrote two reports for the European Commission, three scientific articles, and two book chapters. Her findings have been presented in both English and Spanish.

The three-year project had a ripple effect. At the end of 2023, Florencia was awarded a research grant by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (RJ) to write a book about her findings for one year.

  • Assistant Professor of Media and Communications
  • School of Education and Communication