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Vargas, Virginia (1945–)

Vargas, Virginia (1945–)

Peruvian feminist activist. Born July 23, 1945, in Lima, Peru; m. Juan Veas Rossi, 1968 (died 1979); m. Valente; children: 1 daughter.

Moved to Chile to be with 1st husband (1968) and worked as sociology professor while organizing for Salvador Allende's Socialist Popular Unity Party; forced to leave Chile after 1973 coup in which Allende was deposed by military dictator Pinochet; worked in Peru at National Cultural Institute and continued solidarity work with Chile; pursued graduate studies in economics; helped found Flora Tristán Center for Peruvian Women (1979); served as the center's coordinator and then as director until 1990, offering programs on domestic violence, reproductive rights, abortion, sexual freedom, local government empowerment and citizenship; published magazine Viva (Live) for 10 years through the center's research institute; participated in women's economic development projects of non-governmental organizations, helping found Latin American section of Development Alternatives for a New Era (DAWN); as international feminist leader, helped to organize Encuentros (meetings) of Latin American and Caribbean Women in Peru to strengthen development of local feminism (1981 and 1983); served as visiting professor at many universities and for Women's Program at Social Studies Institute at The Hague; was Latin American representative to 4th Women's World Conference in Beijing (1995); continued to work for advancement of women and sustainable development, collaborating with Women's Council of the Interamerican Bank of Development, Council on Gender of the World Bank and Women's World Forum. Received Monseñor Proaño Award from the Latin American Association for Human Rights (1995), UNIFEM award (1995), and Spain's Progressive Woman Award (1995).

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