In Mexico there is an expression, “The dog is master of the cat, the cat is master of the mouse, and the mouse is master of its tail.” In El Salvador, Deysi Cheyne reports: “There is so much violence and such a pronounced hierarchy in the family. The father comes home drunk and beats his wife. She slaps her eldest son. He hits his younger brother. And the little boy kicks the dog.” Cheyne is a former member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of El Salvador (PSC). Now she is the director of the Institute for Research, Training, and Development of Women, a nongovernmental organization in El Salvador. She and her organization, known by its Spanish acronym, IMU, strive to improve the welfare of the women of El Salvador, a heroic undertaking but one that Cheyne finds more satisfying and productive than any other. This commitment stems in part from her identification with the plight of women, but also from her disillusionment with party politics and the workings of El...
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