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Chile's future First Lady to add a feminist twist to the job

Wednesday, January 19th 2022 - 09:12 UTC
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Karamanos wants to stand up for transgender and migrant children Karamanos wants to stand up for transgender and migrant children

Chile's President-elect Gabriel Boric, 35, has been involved with 32-year-old Social scientist Irina Karamanos since 2019. She has now decided that although not married, she will take on her new role as First Lady and “reformulate” it with a feminist vision, it was reported Tuesday.

The leftwing Boric is to replace Conservative President Sebastián Piñera March 11.

Karamanos Tuesday announced she was committed to reformulating that traditional role but from a feminist angle. “I want to announce that after several weeks of design, we have decided to assume the role traditionally called the first lady with the commitment to reformulate it,” she told reporters outside the university headquarters where Boric's team works in the articulation of his new government.

The function of the First Lady in Chile is not regulated, but she traditionally takes charge of a series of social organizations.

Karamanos is an active feminist who stressed the importance of reformulating the job of a First Lady and adapt it to the current times, “giving it a different and more contemporary twist.”

“As a feminist I also create this place - which seems contradictory to assume as a feminist - in reality it is mostly a challenge that we can take advantage of to talk about different issues and show a new way of inhabiting power,” she added.

Among the issues that she will seek to highlight, as she pointed out, are transgender and migrant children. ”I make myself available to this project to work for the benefit of Chile and its diversity, and doing so from a less charitable role (...) to be able to use the platform to make visible groups that have been made invisible,” she explained.

Karamanos is the national manager of the Feminist Front of the Social Convergence party, which is part of the Broad Front of which Boric is also a member.

Of Greek and German descent, Karamanos has studied at the University of Heidelberg.

Boric will take office as the youngest president in the history of Chile after prevailing in the runoff Dec. 19 over the ultra-conservative José Antonio Kast.

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