Chile’s current president, Michelle Bachelet, will be stepping down on the 11th of March 2011, and, with the end of her administration, comes the end of a period where the reins of Latin America was in the hands of women.
From 2006 to 2018, Latin America saw four female presidents take office across the region. On the left political party, Bachelet and Cristina Fernández of Argentina both held the office for two terms. The right, meanwhile, had Dilma Rousseff of Brazil representing the Workers’ Party, but was tragically early in her second term. The center-right, meanwhile, had Laura Chinchilla, who led Costa Rica for 4 years, from 2011 to 2014.
Gender research groups like The Conversation, which goes to great to study cultural and political trends like Latin women dating services, presidential terms, representation of women in media, and the like, in order to assess what effect they have on women in their respective region, whether good or bad. So it was, with the terms of female presidents ending across Latin America did they study the changes in the past years.
Previous studies in Latin America has already noted that the presidentas have already paved the way for females to become leaders in the future, thanks to their nomination of increased female cabinet member, and the public opinion, according to previous surveys, meant that women were more willing to take part in politics in countries run by women.
But according to the Conversation, there is no data that definitively shows that putting a woman in charge of a country leads to gender equality. There are other variables to consider as politics, like Latin women dating, isn’t a necessarily as straightforward as many would hope it to be. Party politics and social movements also tend to exert a lot of pull on the presidential policies.
For example, abortion, which is largely outlawed in the primarily Catholic Latin America region. There are some countries that allow abortions for pregnancies from rape, but, even still, it’s difficult to find safe, legal abortion services, which has led to a high maternal mortality rate in the region.
Attempts to change the legislation surrounding this have been met with great backlash from conservatives. For example, Rousseff declared support for the legalization of abortion, but backpedaled due to criticism. Bachelet avoided the issue all together. The Catholic opposition was very much organized, and politicians only managed to fight back when the feminist movement in the region got rolling.
Fernández, a member of the conservative left, even went so far as to actively oppose increased reproductive rights, as did Chinchilla.
The presidentas made it clear that their political parties held sway when it came to social change, with gender being a secondary concern. Notably, the governor of Uruguay, a man, improved on childcare and maternity programs, something all but Fernández did as well.
Notably, the same conditions were found in the political aspect of the region, which had a gender quota even back in the 1990s, which shows that the real catalyst for major sociopolitical change in the region were the political parties in charge, not necessarily the women they hold up as their representative.