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Bolivian Women as Professional Footballers: The Voices and the Feminism of the karimachus

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Women’s Football in Latin America

Abstract

Professional women’s football in Latin America is becoming more visible, and Brazil and Mexico have been the first countries to incorporate it. The new FIFA regulations introduced during the last few years require that all member countries must incorporate women’s leagues. That is why most of the countries in Latin America are now funding their women’s national teams, including Bolivia. In 2019, the Bolivian women’s team played an international game for the first time during a FIFA international window; the country’s historical records, however, show that the first Women’s Football League was formed in 1993, with friendly matches that have not been registered in any official record, thus, making that generation of women players invisible. Until then, football was in a public space socially structured as masculine. Therefore, in Bolivia during the 1990s, these women were judged as tomboys or karimachus (i.e., Quechuan for tomboy). Using online and face-to-face interview techniques, this chapter’s authors collected the voices of 11 players from around Bolivia; they all still play football. Five of them have several caps with the Bolivian national football team; the other six continue to play football at an amateur level. This chapter analyses the FIFA notion of professionalism and proposes a new feminist understanding of this concept, making visible the Bolivian women who for many decades felt excluded from the realm of football in the country.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    The word karimachu underwent changes, like many other words in Quechua, because of internal migration in the country and the imposition of the Spanish language. For this reason, nowadays the term can also be written as karimacho or carimacho (Zuna, 2017). It is important to consider that karimacho refers to an effeminate man and warmimacho to a manly woman, but the word karimacho later became popular to refer to homosexuality or to those who do not follow traditional gendered social roles (Opinión, 2009).

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Correspondence to Ana Alcazár-Campos .

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Aguilar Aguilar, E., Alcazár-Campos, A. (2022). Bolivian Women as Professional Footballers: The Voices and the Feminism of the karimachus. In: Knijnik, J., Garton, G. (eds) Women’s Football in Latin America. New Femininities in Digital, Physical and Sporting Cultures. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-09127-8_7

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-09127-8_7

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  • Publisher Name: Palgrave Macmillan, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-031-09126-1

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-031-09127-8

  • eBook Packages: Social SciencesSocial Sciences (R0)

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