Defining a democracy: Reforming the laws on women's rights in Chile, 1990-2002

Merike H. Blofield, Liesl Haas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


This article evaluates 38 bills seeking to expand women's rights in Chile and finds that the successful ones often originated with the Executive National Women's Ministry (SERNAM), did not threaten existing definitions of gender roles, and did not require economic redistribution. These factors (plus the considerable influence of the Catholic Church) correlate in important ways, and tend to constrain political actors in ways not apparent from an examination of institutional roles or ideological identity alone. In particular, the Chilean left's strategic response to this complex web of interactions has enabled it to gain greater legislative influence on these issues over time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-68
Number of pages34
JournalLatin American Politics and Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


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