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Chilean feminists reject the newly appointed Woman and Gender minister

Wednesday, June 10th 2020 - 14:33 UTC
Full article 2 comments
Macarena Santelices stood down, tweeting: “The day it is understood that women’s rights are not political – that they belong to all and for all – we can move forward.” Macarena Santelices stood down, tweeting: “The day it is understood that women’s rights are not political – that they belong to all and for all – we can move forward.”
Santelices is replaced by Monica Zalaquett, a former deputy who staunchly opposed Michelle Bachelet’s push to help ease the sum of total abortion bans Santelices is replaced by Monica Zalaquett, a former deputy who staunchly opposed Michelle Bachelet’s push to help ease the sum of total abortion bans

Chile’s women and gender minister, a great-niece of the late dictator Augusto Pinochet, has resigned after just a month following a furious backlash to her appointment and a string of missteps in office.

Macarena Santelices stood down on Tuesday, tweeting: “The day it is understood that women’s rights are not political – that they belong to all and for all – we can move forward.”

Before she was named minister in May, Santelices, had spoken definitely of the “good side” of Pinochet’s regimen, under which thousands of women were put through torture and almost all female political prisoners endured sexual violence.

Once in office, she oversaw a string of controversial decisions, prompting the hashtag #WeDoNotHaveAMinister to trend in Chile.

On Monday, she named Jorge Ruz – a former tabloid editor most commonly known for taking care of a reality TV program in which women are judged in a swimsuit competition – to head the Ministry’s research division.

The Plurinational Feminist Assembly described the move as “unacceptable,” tweeting: “We demand her departure NOW.”

Last month, the Women’s ministry stirred controversy after launching a public service campaign against domestic violence, having a video where an elderly man tearfully repented abusing his wife.

Critics was overly sympathetic to abusers, and the Ministry swiftly removed the video, admitting that the campaign “did not send the intended message”. Santelices, who describes herself a feminist, had condemned Chile’s forceful feminist groups for seeking “chaos and destruction”.

The Women’s Ministry seat is held by right-wing party Independent Democratic Union, a part of the conservative coalition government light emitting diode by the president, Sebastian Piñera.

Santelices is replaced by Monica Zalaquett, a former deputy who staunchly opposed Michelle Bachelet’s push to help ease on the sum total abortion ban, and permit termination in instances of rape or if there is risk to the life span of the lady or fetus.

In 2013, when abortion was still prohibited under all circumstances, Zalaquett applauded the bravery of an 11-year-old girl who gave birth after being denied abortion rights by their state.

Women’s rights groups welcome the news of Santelices’ resignation, nevertheless the appointment of Zalaquett yet again prompted the hashtag #WeDoNotHaveAMinister to trend.

Categories: Politics, Chile.

Top Comments

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  • Enrique Massot

    Not all is lost in Chile; brave women stood up against this joke of a minister. However, president Piñera has again demonstrated his deeply backwardness by appointing another person unqualified for the job.

    And while these events unfold, MP's Chilean affairs expert is busy advocating for the free market in neighbouring Argentina.

    Would that be a case of the grass being greener on the other side of the fence?

    Jun 11th, 2020 - 04:26 am 0
  • Chicureo

    Yes Enrique, tell us all about the anguished mothers as they watch their children suffer from malnutrition and face starvation from a ruthless government that you refuse to criticize. Chile is a freely democratic society ruled by a completely free electorate. Why is it that people are seeking immigrating to my country as yours?

    https://finance.yahoo.com/news/venezuela-brink-famine-fuel-too-100000304.html

    ¡Viva la REVOLUTIÓN,

    Jun 12th, 2020 - 03:55 pm 0
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