Verónica Michelle Bachelet Jeria, First Woman President of Chile

On March 11, 2006, Verónica Michelle Bachelet Jeria was inaugurated as the first woman President of Chile. She was elected as President as a Social Democrat by 53.5% of the vote, with a platform that included increased social benefits and reducing the gap between rich and poor. Bachelet worked as a pediatrician and epidemiologist, and is a separated mother of three children.  Her father was in the military, and served under democratically elected President Salvador Allende.  After the CIA-backed military coup, her father was arrested and tortured to death (another example of North American “meddling” in a foreign country’s elections).  Bachelet and her mother were also arrested and tortured.  They were forced into exile in Australia and later moved to East Germany. Bachelet, confirming that you can’t keep a good woman down, began her medical studies there. Bachelet served as the head of UN Women, a United Nations entity working for the empowerment of women and girls.

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