Story at a glance

  • Chileans will elect a 155-person assembly, comprised equally of men and women, this weekend.
  • The elected assembly will be charged with crafting Chile’s new constitution.
  • This will be the first assembly in politics to be evenly split by gender.

Chile’s new constitution is set to make global history for gender equality in politics. 

Following a two-day vote this weekend, Chileans will elect a 155-person assembly, composed equally of men and women, to craft Chile’s new constitution.

“It’s a game-changing moment, like when women won the right to vote,” Antonia Orellana, a 31-year-old from Santiago running for the assembly, told The Guardian.


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Calls for the creation and implementation of a new constitution arose from October 2019’s anti-government protests, which advocated for equality in policies and access to health, education and pensions. Chile’s present constitution was written in 1980 by conservative Catholic lawyer Jaime Guzmán, which current citizens say doesn’t assure them the access and equality they need or are seeking. 

Women have been a driving force campaigning for change in the country, stating that the current constitution doesn’t guarantee them marriage equality or protections allowing safe access to abortion. 

The new constitution will be drafted in the wake of protests for abortion access, marriage equality and against femicide.

“At this moment, there’s a growing recognition of the full range of rights [necessary] to securing gender equality,” said Aleta Sprague, a legal analyst at the World Policy Analysis Center.

In October 2020, Chileans overwhelmingly voted for the implementation of an evenly gender-split citizen assembly with a 79 percent majority.


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Published on May 14, 2021