Chile/ 4.2 Specific policy issues and recent debates  

4.2.10 Gender equality and cultural policies

The State of Chile recognises gender equality through Law No. 19.611 (National Congress of Chile, 1999). Likewise, during 2012 Law No. 20.609 was passed (National Congress of Chile, 2012), defining measures against discrimination, and protecting the identity of gender among other human rights. On the other hand, in terms of public policy, the main public organisation dedicated to the subject is the National Women’s Service (SERNAM), created in 1991 through the Law No. 19.023 with the mission of designing public policy together with other services conducive to guaranteeing and making visible the equality of rights and opportunities among men and women, incorporating the issues that affect women and families into the public agenda. Its objectives include:

-        To incorporate gender equality in the policies and programmes of the public sector.

-        To encourage the employment of women, increasing professional development, work and entrepreneurial opportunities, and supporting family-work conciliation and the co-responsibility between men and women.

-        To strengthen the family as the base of society, incorporating a holistic approach towards public policy that takes into account the social reality and contributes towards the improvement in the quality of life and well-being of women and men.

-        To reduce domestic violence, improving attention to the victims, prevention in children, treatment of aggressors, perfection of court proceedings and legislation on the subject.

-        To promote the participation of women in decision-making in the spheres of politics, unions and organisations, supporting their leadership. 

Despite the above, it is necessary to mention that without prejudice to the legal definitions and of transversal initiatives promoted by SERNAM, there are no other policies on the subject of gender equality in the State of Chile that relate specifically to the cultural field. This situation is particularly delicate if we consider that our country is in the 91st place on the Global Gender Gap Index of the World Economic Forum, even worsening the classification in previous measurements (World Economic Forum, 2013), which also shows the difficulties in the establishment of equality between men and women in contemporary Chile.

Chapter published: 28-12-2013