Irina Karamanos and the first ladies forging their own path


Spouses of Latin American leaders used to have significant roles in politics, but things are changing. In Mexico, there could soon be the first female president, and the role of the first lady is evolving too.

The days of powerful first ladies like Eva Perón are fading. Some women feel it’s unfair to be expected to take on such influential roles without being elected. They want to pursue their own careers instead of supporting their husbands’ careers.

Beatriz Gutiérrez Müller, Mexico’s current first lady, criticized the role, calling it elitist. She believes all women are important and shouldn’t be defined by their relationship to powerful men.

Irina Karamanos, the partner of Chile’s president, also questioned her role. She felt uncomfortable with the power and expectations placed on her as the first lady.

In Latin America and the US, the partner of the president often plays a visible role in leadership. But many women, like Karamanos, are questioning why they should have so much power without being elected.

Karamanos eventually stepped down from her role, believing it was undemocratic for someone like her to have so much influence without being elected. She wanted to challenge traditional roles and make democratic institutions more legitimate.

Women like Karamanos are changing the role of the first lady, making it less traditional and more focused on their own interests and values.

In Brazil, President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s wife, Janja, is also reshaping the role of the first lady. She wants to focus on public policy and break free from traditional expectations.

Janja faced criticism for her activism, but she believes it’s important for first ladies to have autonomy and pursue their interests.

Both Janja and Karamanos are part of a powerful feminist movement in Latin America, challenging traditional gender roles and rewriting the rules of politics.


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