Women under 50 years of age opened the doors of La Moneda to Gabriel Boric, political analysts concluded a year ago after reviewing the participation data. The younger, the more support. The leftist then promised to lead a feminist government. The first in Latin America. Twelve months after taking office, six women from the social sciences, the arts and activism put the president’s mission statement under scrutiny. The successes are repeated regardless of the sector they represent: establishing ministerial parity as a starting point, incorporating for the first time the Ministry of Women, led by Antonia Orellana, into the political committee -the small table of power-, and putting operation the Registry of Alimony Debtors.
Regarding the Registry, Isabel Plá, Minister for Women in the second term of Sebastián Piñera (2018-2022), points out that it is a law enacted in the previous government “that the current one has had to implement.” Like others, it also highlights the incorporation of the Prosecutor’s Office to the Intersectoral Femicide Circuit (CIF), the inter-institutional coordination mechanism that seeks to guarantee the protection and comprehensive care of victims of femicide. Beyond that and “given the expectations generated by the government’s “feminist” definition”, Plá considers that little progress has been made in relevant matters, but she sees a turn towards “the priorities of Chilean women”, such as the promotion of the universality of child care rooms.
Before going into the balance sheets, the ex-conventional and head of the 8M Coordinator, Alondra Carrillo, clarifies that the “feminist government” was a decision that arose from the ruling parties, not from the feminists. “We did not go to the polls from the movement with that expectation,” she says. Political scientist María de los Ángeles Fernández, president of the Hay Mujeres Foundation, warns that this is still an exceptional statement in the world “and that it contributes, along with other elements, to support the idea of a ‘laboratory’ that accompanies Chile to throughout its recent evolution.
Carrillo welcomes the bill to reform the pension system, which currently works in a “perverse” way with female workers. The pension gap between men and women is 40%. Carrrillo clarifies that he is concerned about the idea of extending the retirement age of women from 60 to 65 years. Like others consulted for this article, she criticizes the fact that the Government has not made announcements on International Women’s Day about the realization of the National Care System, a Boric campaign promise to support people dedicated to caring for children with training and formal employment. others.
“Gabriel Boric’s triumph was due a lot to the women. and a program with proposals for feminist advances that, we cannot deny, would have had an easier correlate in terms of momentum if it had won approval” in the constitutional referendum, she states Alejandra Sepúlveda, president of the private organization Comunidad Mujer, which promotes rights and advances in equality. Fragmentation in Congress, she points out, has been another stumbling block for the left-wing Administration. One of the successes, she points out, has been the reduction of the working day to 40 hours, which includes the adaptability of the day of working parents to meet the need to care for children under 12 years of age. “It is positive, but we must move forward in recognizing that care is not only for children,” adds Sepúlveda.
Away from the legislative successes, the writer Carmen Gloria López, author of Out of sight (Sudamericana, 2022) highlights the type of man Boric is and his tone from the first year of the Government in terms of gender. “She defines herself as a feminist, listen, ask for forgiveness. We see it on genuinely empathetic ground. This model of masculinity is far from the patriarchal toxic of the winner that he knows them all”, he affirms. Also a journalist and screenwriter, she celebrates that she installs a language and a way of conversing that values elements associated with the feminine, something that she sees in other leaders such as the Canadian Justin Trudeau.
Among the challenges that the Boric government should assume from a feminist perspective, political scientist Fernández points out accelerating the insertion of women in the labor market and eliminating gender gaps. “Although the labor participation of Chilean women increased from 44.9% to 52.5%, the country continues to be among the OECD countries with the least results,” she points out. She also remarks that No progress has been made on one of the issues most associated with the Orellana minister, who comes from the field of the fight against gender violence: the approval of the comprehensive bill for the right of women to a life free of violence, which was introduced by President Michelle Bachelet in 2017.
Lorena Astudillo, national coordinator of the Chilean Network against Violence against Women, welcomes the fact that the government listens to feminist organizations and has movement activists in positions of power, but stresses that they are up to the task of promoting lives free of sexist violence. “Now it is sanctioned once it is done (the crime). They have to eliminate sexist education, monitor the media for the way they report and insist on tax reform”, says the lawyer, who recalls that many of the public policies in favor of women are tied to the tax bill.
The former Minister of Women adds the need to modify the conjugal partnership, “so that the woman also manages the assets.” It is a reform that has been attempted on several occasions and has achieved a political agreement. The writer López believes that the Government must install a broader view of feminism. “Neither other expressions is not very good”, she points out, and invites us to focus on the demands that unite the different movements: equal pay, non-discrimination, paid domestic work and effective education to eliminate gender violence.
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