Vol. 1 No. 1 (2020): Global Connections

The Politics of Womanhood: The Mirabal Sister’s Resistance

Published May 14, 2020


The Mirabal Sisters, Patria, Minerva, María Teresa, and Dedé, lived during one of the most repressive times in modern Dominican history, the Trujillo Regime. Their lives were marked by political instability, violence against women, and resistance. Through an analysis of both primary and secondary sources, including newspaper articles, Dedé Mirabal’s memoir, and journal articles, this paper argues that the Mirabal sisters, especially Minerva Mirabal, challenged Spanish-Colonial and Dominican ideals of womanhood through their education, politics, and questioning of masculine authority. Following a brief history on the Trujillo Dictatorship and his relationship with women, the paper establishes what womanhood meant in Dominican society through examining colonial foundations of gender norms and directives of the Trujillo government. Using this definition, the paper then seeks to prove the Mirabal Sisters challenged these ideals and concludes with modern context of the international importance of the Mirabal sisters. Their influence continues to remain salient in society today, notably through literary references such as Julia Alvarez’s 1994 novel In the Time of the Butterflies and Junot Diaz’s 2007 novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. Additionally, the anniversary of the death of three of the sisters at the hands of the regime, November 25, stands as the official International Day of Nonviolence Against Women, revealing their global impact