Scope and Contents
This collection details the vast women’s labor movement in Central America (mostly concentrating on Nicaragua) in the 1990s and early 2000s as a part of Dr. Jennifer Bickham Mendez’s dissertation research. The collection includes newspaper clippings, secondary source articles, publications from various women’s labor organizations in Central America, personal field notes and contacts, along with many other materials pertaining to her research. Dr. Bickham Mendez’s research acquainted her with many women’s labor organizations, giving her an opportunity to explore the work being done in Nicaragua related to women’s working conditions and human rights. A majority of her research focused on zonas francas, specific areas within Nicaragua and other Central American countries that face inhumane working conditions in maquilas, or factories that export their manufactured goods to other countries. As the collection progresses, Dr. Bickham Mendez contributed material related to the feminist movement in Nicaragua, including various pamphlets and brochures that discuss various feminist topics such as domestic violence, reproductive health rights, and machismo/toxic masculinity. The collection concentrates on specific women’s right organizations that organize around establishing better working conditions for women in these maquilas as well as the national and international responses that resulted from these organizations.
Language of Materials
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open to all researchers. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, such as the Virginia Public Records Act (Code of Virginia. § 42.1-76-91); and the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (Code of Virginia § 2.2-3705.5). Confidential material may include, but is not limited to, educational, medical, and personnel records. If sensitive material is found in this collection, please contact a staff member immediately. The disclosure of personally identifiable information pertaining to a living individual may have legal consequences for which the College of William and Mary assumes no responsibility.
Conditions Governing Use
Before publishing quotations or excerpts from any materials, permission must be obtained from the Curator of Manuscripts and Rare Books, and the holder of the copyright, if not Swem Library.
Biographical / Historical
Dr. Jennifer Bickham Mendez compiled this collection while writing her History dissertation at the University of California, Davis. She spent significant time in Central America, especially Nicaragua, in order to conduct her research on women’s labor movements throughout the 1990s and early 2000s. Her dissertation research would be published in her first book, From the Revolution to the Maquiladoras: Gender, Labor and Globalization in Nicaragua, in 2005. Since then, her work has focused on questions of Latino identity, immigration, social and labor movements, and border studies. Dr. Bickham Mendez arrived at William and Mary in 1999 as an Assistant Professor and has held various leadership positions within the university since. Currently, Dr. Bickham Mendez serves as a Professor of Sociology and Director of the Global Studies Program at William & Mary.
2.92 Linear Feet