Las Mujeres Sinarquistas (1937-1962): Las Manos Ocultas en la Construcción del Sentimiento Nacionalista Mexicano de Derecha

Eva Nohemi Orozco-Garcia, University of Texas at El Paso


The Unión Nacional Sinarquista (UNS) was perhaps the most influential right-wing opposition movement in Mexico when it was founded in 1937. The UNS regarded the Mexican Revolution as the source of many of the country’s problems and championed Catholic nationalism as the solution. Women were actively involved in advancing the goals of the movement and they played an especially prominent role in developing and implementing Sinarquista social and educational programs. In contrast to some other right-wing organizations, women from lower economic strata formed the backbone of the Sinarquista women’s organization, known as the Sección Femenina. These women protested in the streets and sometimes paid a high personal cost for their collaboration with an opposition movement. In fact, one of the movement’s most celebrated heroes was a woman, Teresa Bustos. Despite their ardent defense of Sinarquismo, women struggled to make their voices heard within the male-dominated Sinarquista movement. Archival evidence shows that Sinarquista women accepted the ideology of the UNS that relegated them to a secondary role and yet, ironically, they also went beyond that role. For example, they advocated for women’s right to vote and, in 1962, the first Sinarquista gubernatorial candidate was a woman. This dissertation will examine how and why Sinarquista women challenged gender barriers while also championing an ideology that confined women largely to the domestic sphere. Focusing on women’s role in the UNS provides a more complete and nuanced understanding of the movement’s composition, activities, and internal dynamics. Finally, the dissertation contributes to the literature on women in the Mexican right, both in the context of national politics and in comparison with other right-wing movements around the world.

Subject Area

Latin American history|Womens studies

Recommended Citation

Orozco-Garcia, Eva Nohemi, "Las Mujeres Sinarquistas (1937-1962): Las Manos Ocultas en la Construcción del Sentimiento Nacionalista Mexicano de Derecha" (2019). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI13881281.