This article focuses on the political role of the Secretariats of Women and Youth, which were created by Augusto Pinochet’s military regime, in an effort to unearth their underlying rationale. It departs from previous interpretations of these organizations that privilege the influence of foreign models in their formation, highlighting instead factors internal to Chile and seeking a more complete understanding of the dictatorship’s actions in regard to the secretariats. This analysis portrays the Chilean secretariats as different from their counterparts in other Southern Cone dictatorships. The trajectories of the secretariats followed the Chilean regime’s political evolution, as they served different goals and strategies and changed course as the government developed a more clearly defined political project, along with policies to carry such a project out.

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