Malena de Montis Oral History (audio files, English)

Malena de Montis

Malena de Montis Oral History (audio files, English)

Resource Type
Audio Recording
Publication Year
English (US)




Click here to access Malena de Montis's Oral History audio files.

Additionally, you can click here to access the accompanying time-coded summary of the interview. Full transcripts and other oral history materials are available at the British Library Sound Archive, London, United Kingdom, and at the WLP office in Bethesda, MD. For more information, please consult our Oral History Archive of the Global Women’s Movement Terms of Use

About the Interviewee* 

Malena de Montis (Nicaragua). With a long and respected history in Latin America and globally as a women human rights defender since the 1970s, Malena de Montis is a feminist sociologist, popular educator and activist. She holds a doctoral degree in Education from the University of Massachusetts and was a Bunting Institute-Radcliff-Harvard University fellow. She was a top leader within the Sandinista Front in Nicaragua through the early 1980s, where she held a number of important roles in the government, political party, and civil organizations. In addition, Malena served as a senior official in the Ministries of Planning and Education and participated in the coordination of the National Literacy Campaign, which was awarded the UNESCO World award.

She is the founder and served as director, for 13 years, of the Center for Democratic Participation and Development, CENZONTLE and the Women's Development Fund (FODEM)/CENZONTLE, supporting the economic and political empowerment of women with scarce resources through financial, business, and citizenship/leadership components, earning the INTERCAMBIO Best Practice Award, Central America. She was a pioneer in the Autonomous Women's Movement (MAM) and founder of the Women's Coalition in Nicaragua and the Latin American Network for Gender Justice in Economic Development (Redlader). She also was a researcher for the Central American University (UCA) and the University of Massachusetts. Between 1995 and 2000 de Montis served as the Latin American Coordinator of the Women's Political Network, which was launched at the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing.

She has also been a driving force behind the incorporation of a gender and empowerment perspective in a number of national (ASOMIF), regional (REDCAMIF) and global (WEMAN) microfinance organizations. De Montis has served as advisor for a number of international organizations, such as UNIFEM, UNESCO, UNICEF, HIVOS, Women’s Learning Partnership (WLP), NORAD, Care International and AWID. She is the author of various publications on issues of women and development.

*This brief biography was recorded concurrently with the subject’s interview for the WLP Oral History Archive of the Global Women’s Movement.

About the WLP Oral History Project

The WLP Oral History Archive of the Global Women’s Movement preserves stories and lessons of women’s rights activists from Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and South America who have left their mark on the struggle for women’s advancement. We have collected dozens of oral histories from 25 countries, and the project is ongoing. Since 2014, WLP has collaborated with the Sound Archive of the British Library to host the repository.


Read our Oral History Archive of the Global Women’s Movement Terms of Use.

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