Feminist Michelle Bachelet is once again the president of Chile, winning 62 percent of the vote – the largest victory for any presidential candidate since the country resumed democratic elections in 1989.
As president, Bachelet will address the profound gap between the rich and poor in Chile. The country has the highest level of income inequality among the 34 countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Bachelet also intends to establish free university education, a priority for Chilean youth who have organized massive protests against the prohibitively high cost of education there.
“Feminists worldwide applaud Michelle Bachelet’s victory and great leadership for women’s rights,” said Feminist Majority Foundation president Eleanor Smeal in reaction to the win.
Bachelet, a medical doctor by training, served as the president of Chile between 2006 and 2010. The first woman to lead the country, Bachelet reformed Chile’s pension system, developed new social welfare programs for children, and was known as a strong champion for women and girls. Constitutionally barred from seeking a consecutive second term, Bachelet went on to become the first Executive Director and Under-Secretary-General of UN Women.
Media Resources: BBC News 12/16/13; Reuters 12/16/13, 10/23/13; United Nations 9/14/10