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President Of The Republic Of Chile – Empowering Women Is A Challenging Objective

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Empowering women is a necessity and an obligation and it’s a long road ahead: Chile’s President










Dubai, 24th February, 2016 – Promoting progress towards building a more equitable and just world that guarantees the rights of women is more than a challenge, Michelle Bachelet, President of the Republic of Chile, said in a keynote video address at the second day of Global Women’s Forum Dubai.

“Empowering women is an objective by itself and it will enable the achievement of the rest of the goals. It’s a necessity and an obligation and it’s a long road ahead,” Michelle said.

The fight for women’s equality is multidimensional and requires the cooperation of lawmakers and citizens alike, the President said while pointing out that one of her first steps in creating a more equal society was the transformation of Chile’s National Service for Women into the Ministry of Women and Gender Equality, which demonstrated her ideological shift from women’s services to the empowerment of women.

The president said one of the greatest and most pressing challenges in Chile is the rate of unemployment among women.

“I hope to see an employment rate of 63 per cent for women, from the current 58 per cent, and an increase of women in poverty joining the workplace. In Chile, only 25 out of every 100 women in poverty have a job and the President wants to increase the number of working women to 300,000 in the next few years.

She stressed the need to increase the representation of women on the boards of public companies, pointing out that in Chile the situation has changed from 5 per cent women on companies’ board a few years ago to 28 per cent now.

Citing from a UNESCO study, she said gender parity is as low as 5 per cent among Latin American countries.

Michelle, who symbolically signed into a law the creation of the Women’s and Gender Equality Ministry in Chile, said the country will have 40 per cent female candidates in the next elections. Currently, 16 per cent of the House of Deputies is made up of women, whereas 18 per cent of the Senate are women. She wants both quotas to reach 25 per cent in the near future as to ensure the promotion of women-friendly legislation.

Michelle said within the education system, the majority of students are women receiving high grades – but they go out into the marketplace and earn less than their male counterparts.

However, she hopes that higher technical education will ensure that women will earn a higher salary and work in innovative companies that can move women equality and empowerment forward.

{Source: Emirates News Agency – WAM/tfaham}

[photo credits-featured image: Photograph of the Palacio del Ex-Congreso, Morande 441 Santiago de chile – By User:zootalures (Owen Cliffe) [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons]

[intext photo: inserted by (credits embedded)]


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