Gender Inequalities In Latin America

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As Latin America marches towards new democracy systems, gender inequity remains to be a persistent characteristic of the countries. Women in the region have played a significant role in reducing, and ultimately ending, gender inequalities (Sutton, 514). Despite the economic growth of Chile and its democracy government, gender inequalities in the country remain (COHA). Elected in 2006, Michelle Bachelet is “the first elected woman president in Latin America who is not the wife, widow or daughter of powerful male political elites” (Thomas, 67). Gender ideology influences not only the political and cultural context in which women and men compete for political office, but also the interpretations and meanings assigned to the actions of male and…show more content…
“On the campaign trail, Bachelet highlighted women’s concerns, promising more services for domestic abuse victims, free child care for poor working moms, and a cabinet with gender parity” (Ross, 728). But Bachelet’s victory was not solely based on female voters. Indeed, “she received almost an equal number of votes from male and female voters” (Ross, 728). This demonstrates how difficult it is to define Bachelet’s public image as on the one hand, her number of votes was nearly equal on both genders and on the other hand, a significant number of male politicians denigrate…show more content…
This essay focuses on the cultural tensions that were brought from her public image and her feminine leadership; therefore, political tensions are beyond the scope of this paper. It is clear that there has been a dramatic change in the power balance between women and men in the country (Valdés, 267). Since the arrival of Bachelet, male politicians have been fighting for her to fail and to guarantee that she would be the first and the last woman to gain such power in Chile. The perception of men from all politic sectors is very different from the view of women in general. Men thought Michelle Bachelet did not own the capabilities to govern the country. She was perceived of having neither character nor leadership and she raised various questions among the population. The fact that she is a woman was not the only thing going against her. It was also the fact that she did not consider herself a feminist, which was perceived negatively by Chilean feminists. Bachelet provoked a debate about women involved in politics and whether they were able to rule a country. Not only she was criticized, but also women in general, especially because she had established a 50-50-gender parity in her cabinet (Ross, 728). Masculine politicians could not accept such feminine power. Besides, establishing gender parity meant lowering the quality of the cabinet (Ross, 729). They accused

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