Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

YOU ARE HERE

The Mont Saint-Michel, between sea and stone

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Massive trade bill clears key hurdle in US Senate

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Why should the U.S. fight for the Iraqis?'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

"Inequality takes hold"

Read more

DEBATE

Will Ireland Say "I Do"? Gay Marriage Referendum Challenges Catholic Values (part 1)

Read more

DEBATE

Will Ireland Say "I Do"? Gay Marriage Referendum Challenges Catholic Values (part 2)

Read more

FOCUS

Mother of French terror victim seeks to open minds

Read more

ENCORE!

Aishwarya Rai: An interview with the Queen of Bollywood

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Ireland on the eve of gay marriage vote

Read more

Americas

Isabel Allende set to become Chile’s first female senate leader

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-02-28

Chilean Socialist senator, Isabel Allende, the daughter of toppled former president Salvador Allende, was appointed head of the Chilean senate on Thursday, making her the first woman to occupy the post.

Almost half a century after her father was killed in a violent 1973 coup d’état, the daughter of Salvador Allende is set to become the leader of the Chilean senate following a decision on Thursday by the country’s new centre-left coalition government, which won power in November last year.

“My father, as we know, served as senate leader for three years, and for me, it comes as an immense honour and with great pride to be the first woman [leader] in the history of the senate,” Allende told major Chilean radio station, Radio Cooperativa, on Thursday.

One of Allende’s first duties as senate leader will be to place the Chilean national sash on president elect Michelle Bachelet at her inauguration on March 11.

The event is considered symbolic of a breakthrough in women’s struggle for power, and will make Chile a global frontrunner in gender equality within politics.

“This image is going to go all around the world,” Socialist senator Fulvio Rossi said on Thursday. “Two women holding Chile’s most important positions – it will forever legitimise the importance of women in power.”

Symbolic figures

Both Allende and Bachelet also carve symbolic figures in Chile’s turbulent 20th century history.

The 1973 coup in which Allende’s father was killed ushered in a 17-year dictatorship under former general Augusto Pinochet, whose brutal rule dominated Chilean politics long after his resignation in 1990.

Bachelet’s father also died at the hands of the coup leaders. As a brigadier in the national air force, Alberto Bachelet remained loyal to Salvador Allende following his death and was subsequently imprisoned by the Pinochet regime. He died of a heart attack after months of torture in prison. Bachelet herself was also arrested and tortured and went into exile.

A former doctor and head of United Nations Women, Bachelet served as Chile’s first female president between 2006 and 2010. She was re-elected in November after a four-year hiatus.

Bachelet and Allende will assume their roles on March 11.

 

Date created : 2014-02-28

  • CHILE

    Socialist Bachelet regains presidency on reform platform

    Read more

  • CHILE - ELECTION

    Chile’s ex-leader Bachelet favoured in presidential vote

    Read more

COMMENT(S)