A Monday New York Times write-up worried that with the end of the Chilean female president’s term, Latin America might not have enough female leaders.
The article, “President Bachelet of Chile Is the Last Woman Standing in The Americas,” praised the example that South America had set for the rest of the world in trying to put more women in presidential positions in a push for gender equality.
“Their presidencies — in Argentina, Brazil and Chile — made the region an exemplar of the global push for a more equitable footing for women in politics. And their moment came long before the United States, often regarded as less sexist than Latin America, even came close to electing a female president,” author Ernesto Londono said.
However, the advent of female leadership in South America might change. Chilean President Michelle Bachelet is coming to the end of her presidential term and her two other female counterparts in Argentina and Brazil are facing trouble in their own countries — one has been impeached and the other faces corruption charges.
Without these women in power, both North and South America won’t have any female presidents, Londono pointed out.
“After Ms. Bachelet’s term ends next year, none of the countries in North or South America are expected to have female presidents, a notable turnaround in a part of the world where, until recently, women have been elected to lead influential democracies,” Londono wrote.
Other outlets have also taken to wondering why the United States has never had a female president while South America has had multiple. One activist attributed it to the “macho” attitude present in Latin American men.
“And why is it that in a culture like the US women have had so much trouble rising in the ranks, while in countries where machismo is the norm, men have been so open minded by comparison?” Gioconda Belli wrote in the Guardian last year. “I believe that behind every macho man there’s an insecure boy in need of mothering, so in Latin America men in all their virile glory have not disputed the suitability of women for the higher office.”
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