The Chilean woman mobilized for Gabriel Boric in the second round of the presidential elections. The first studies attribute to them, especially the young women, the fact that the leftist has won the victory. The conscientious president-elect highlighted this in his first speech on the historic election night: “Thanks to the women of the country, who organized throughout Chile to defend the rights that have been so difficult for them to achieve.” The next president has not revealed details about who will make up his next cabinet from March 2022, but he has promised that it will be equal. A “feminist government” is looming that, according to campaign promises, will advance the main struggles of the movement, such as the right to free, safe and free abortion.
The presidential elections last Sunday marked a milestone for having the highest turnout since the voluntary vote was installed in 2012 (8.3 million; 55% of the electoral roll). More men and more women went to the polls, but women’s suffrage was higher. Support for the Approve Dignity candidate was greater than for the right-wing José Antonio Kast in all age groups under 70, particularly those under 50, according to a study by the electoral platform Decide Chile. Among those under 30, who increased their participation by 10 points compared to the first round, the difference between the candidates almost reached 70-30 in favor of the president-elect. “This group is one of the undisputed bastions of the advantage of the broad front over the Republican,” says the report.
A key figure in Boric’s leadership during the runoff campaign was Izkia Siches, 35, the first woman to head the Medical College trade union. The doctor achieved great popularity in her role during the pandemic, and she resigned to support the leftist on the ground. Many analysts attribute to his marathon visit to places in the north that the area has triggered his support for Boric with respect to the first round. It is one of the letters to head the Ministry of Health.
“Sex education to decide, contraceptives not to abort, legal abortion not to die”, was one of the insignia of Boric’s campaign. This feminist discourse collided head-on with that of Kast, especially in the first round, when he proposed repealing the abortion law in three causes now in force (life in danger of the mother, fetal unfeasibility and rape) and the elimination of the Ministry of Women . The ultra-conservative dispensed with these two measures in the face of the ballot. Boric recalled in his speech the achievements of the feminist movement, such as the right to vote and to decide about their bodies. “From the right to non-discrimination due to the type of family that they have decided to form, to recognition for the care tasks that they carry out today. Count on us. You will be the protagonists of our Government ”, he said, and provoked the applause of the tens of thousands of followers.
One of Boric’s main promises is the creation of 500,000 new jobs for women in the four years of government to regain pre-pandemic employment levels. It also proposes establishing a National System of Care that has as pillars the social co-responsibility of care, the participation of the community in its governance, universality, community care and data management (dependents, carers, care networks, professionals, among other). Women in Chile dedicate more than twice as much time per day as men to unpaid domestic and care work (5.89 hours, compared to 2.74, according to the National Survey on Time Use).
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The Government plan includes the creation of a bill for a model of “Comprehensive, inclusive and non-sexist Sexual Education” and a Comprehensive law on gender violence that has the legal tools for the “eradication, investigation, punishment and reparation of violence ”and strengthen the Ministry of Women and Gender.
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.