SANTIAGO, Chile — Despite the impression of the United States as the birthing ground for feminism, other countries prove to be the new frontier for women leadership in politics. When Chileans vote Sunday for their next leader, they will choose between a former president seeking to expand access to higher education broadly and a staunch conservative opposing tax increases aimed at reducing Chile’s high levels of inequality. The fact that both candidates — Michelle Bachelet, a former president and Evelyn Matthei, her right-wing opponent — are women reveals an area where Latin America is surging: the empowerment of female leaders in politics.
Eight of the estimated 29 women in the world who have been elected as presidents of their countries since the 1970s have done so in Latin America and the Caribbean, long considered a bastion of machismo, with half of them ascending since 2006. Up and down the Americas, with the notable exception of the United States, women are soaring into the highest political realms. Read the full story.