Chilean Deputies Approve Gender Quotas

The initiative that will be promulgated into law, states that one single gender cannot occupy more than 60% of the jobs at public enterprises.

The Woman Post | Catalina Mejía

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The majority of the Chilean Chamber of Deputies approved the initiative that in stage two of the legislative process will promote the representation of both genders in public enterprises such as Enami, Codelco, Enap, Metro, and EFE. The legislative proposal states that people from the same gender cannot represent more than 60% of the employees of public enterprises created by the law (whose directors are appointed by the Council of the Corporation that Promotes Production) and companies that are owned by the state (Council of the Corporation that Promotes Production) in a percentage higher than 50% whose directors are selected by the named corporation.

The initiative also mentions that for those Boards of Directors composed of three people, more than two people, will not be allowed from the same gender. Several women activists have also said that the new constitution of the country will accelerate the progress of women in Chile and could even set a new global standard for gender equality in politics around the world. It is important to highlight that a new constitution for Chile was materialized during an anti-government uprising at the end of 2019. In October of the mentioned year, there were massive calls for equality, as well as fair access to health, pensions, and education.

Also read: PROGRESS AND SETBACKS IN WOMEN'S POLITICAL TOWARDS 2021

Some critics of the previous Constitution, have claimed that it was born in 1980, in times of the Pinochet Dictatorship and it promotes a market-driven economy while failing to guarantee basic rights such as health care, education, and pensions. Women were protagonists during the uprisings, where they asked for equal rights and greater public participation. It is also worth mentioning that during a referendum that took place in October 2020, a percentage of 79% Chileans voted to support a popularly elected citizen assembly with gender parity, instead of an assembly lacking a regulated gender quota.

Chile is taking significant steps towards gender equality. Particularly, the approval of gender quotas for public enterprises by the Chilean Chamber of Deputies represents some of the many actions that are being taken by Chile to set a new global standard for gender equality in Latin America and the world.

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