Irish lawmakers voted to allow abortion in limited circumstances for the first time in the Ireland’s history. Chile’s president Sebastian Pinera said he admired a young girl for continuing her pregnancy, which was a result of rape.
Some give up traditional livelihoods and do something new. Others stay put and rebuild from within devastated towns. Throughout the shoreline communities of southern Chile hardest hit by the 2010 tsunami, women are driving a long, hard recovery.
Since Chile’s announcement of a public pension reform that extends to unpaid homemakers, applications by women have been pouring in. President Bachelet portrays the reform as a major fulfillment of her commitment to women’s financial security.
Chilean judges, siding with the Vatican, have dealt a major blow to the Bachelet government by ending free emergency contraception in public clinics. A women’s rights group is organizing a mass renunciation of Catholicism to express their outrage.
Chile’s plan to ensure wide availability of emergency contraception is running into resistance. One group of politicians has filed a lawsuit to block access and three pharmaceutical chains have balked at selling it.
Safety advocates in Chile are planning nighttime marches across the country to protest the growing number of women killed by domestic violence; President Michelle Bachelet has proposed related legislation to be debated in coming weeks.
Chile may be notable for having a female president, but the country ranks 14th out of 18 Latin American countries in female political representation. Congressional hearings on a gender-quota bill for political parties are stirring debate.
Chile’s strict abortion ban and high teen pregnancy rates have drawn international criticism, but its efforts to ward off those critiques have sparked a moral debate. Chile’s efforts to sign an international protocol may be delayed as a result.