Ms. Bachelet, a professed agnostic and single mother of three in a country that legalized divorce only five years ago, shattered the mold of traditional Chilean politicians in this Roman Catholic stronghold. At the start, she said, the political establishment tried to portray her as weak and disrespectful of the office of the president. “It was an important challenge in the first few years,” [Bachelet said], noting the way other powerful women had urged her to toughen up and “scream and insult” to be respected. “I took a gamble,” she added, “to exercise leadership without losing my feminine nature.”So reads an article in today's NY Times about Chilean President Michelle Bachelet's successes in office. (See previous IntLawGrrls posts on Bachelet here.) That "feminine nature" includes a long-term financial strategy according to which she set aside billions of dollars from Chile's copper boom, a move that enabled her country to recover quickly from the global financial crisis. Her government has legalized alimony payments to divorced women, tripled the number of free early child-care centers for poor families, and created a minimum pension guarantee for poor homemakers and the very poor.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
(Taking context-optional note of thought-provoking quotes)