When Socialist Ricardo Lagos assumed the presidency of Chile in January 2000, he named five women to his 16-member cabinet. While these five appointments were primarily to ministries that dealt with “women’s issues” such as education and health care, he also named Christian Democrat Soledad Alvear to the prestigious post of minister of foreign affairs.1 Two months later, he also appointed lawyer Patricia Carrasco as a kind of “super mayor” (alcalde mayor) to oversee social development in the largely urban province of Santiago.2 Soon thereafter, former first lady Marta Larraechea de Frei, the wife of ex-president Eduardo Frei Jr. (1994–2000), announced that she would run for the office of mayor of Santiago.3 At the same time, Gladys Marín Millie served as the head of the Communist Party and had been a first-round presidential candidate herself in 1999.4...

You do not currently have access to this content.