First Woman President of Chile Committed to Women's Rights
Michelle Bachelet was elected the first woman president of Chile this Sunday, beating out right-wing opponent Sebastian Pinera by a handy 7 percent. The vote was a runoff between Bachelet and Pinera after Bachelet won only 46 percent in the multiple-candidate December 11 election, failing to get the 50 percent necessary for victory.
Bachelet, an agnostic and a single mother, gained popularity as minister of health in 2000, when she revamped Chile’s moribund public health system. She instituted 24-hour health care to cut waiting times that had previously been as long as three months. In 2002, she was appointed Chile’s Defense Minister, the first woman in Latin America to hold the post.
A charismatic speaker, Bachelet campaigned on a leftist platform and spoke out for women’s rights. “It is unjust that [women] have less access to education and that, in some cases, our social legislation doesn’t address even our basic necessities,” she said, to explosive applause. “Women have been tossed aside for many years in this country—and it’s time for that to change.” As president, Bachelet plans to focus on improving public education, health services, and labor laws. She began on Monday to build her Cabinet – half of which, she promises, will consist of women.
12/11/2013 Human Rights Day Celebrated Around The World - Yesterday marked International Human Rights Day, a day to celebrate human rights advances and to assess the challenges that lie ahead in protecting them.
"The fundamentals for protecting and promoting human rights are largely in place: these include a strong and growing body of international human rights law and standards, as well as institutions to interpret the laws, monitor compliance and apply them to new and emerging human rights issues," said United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay in a statement. . . .
12/11/2013 UConn Under Federal Investigation For Mishandling Sexual Assault Cases - The US Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) informed the University of Connecticut on Monday that it will investigate the school for allegedly mishandling sexual assault cases and violating Title IX, the federal law that requires all recipients of federal financial assistance for education programs and activities to prohibit sex discrimination and sexual harassment [PDF].
The investigation was sparked after seven women filed a formal complaint in October alleging that UConn had failed to protect them from sexual assault and exposed them to a sexually hostile environment.One woman says her attacker was expelled from campus but later readmitted without her knowledge. . . .
12/11/2013 Massachusetts Democrat Katherine Clark Wins Congressional Seat - Democrat Katherine Clark will become the fifth woman to represent Massachusetts in the US House Tuesday, after easily defeating three opponents in a special election.
"Six years ago, there wasn't a single woman representing Massachusetts in Congress," said Niki Tsongas, the only other woman representing Massachusetts in the House. . . .