Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Profile: Michelle Bachelet

This week is Latina heritage week at newmoongirls.com! Today we are profiling a strong Latina leader. Read on to learn about Michelle Bachelet, the first female president of Chile in South America. Ms. Bachelet has been the president of Chile since 2006, and prior to her current position, she also held roles as Minister of Health and Minister of Defense for the country.

She was born in Santiago, the capital of Chile. Her mother was an archaeologist, and her dad was in the Chilean Air Force. She spent her childhood moving and living on different military bases. A fun fact: she spent almost two years living in Maryland in the US during her high school years!

Ms. Bachelet is a member of Chile's socialist party, and during her early adult years this affiliation led to her being kidnapped and tortured at a time when the government in power was persecuting socialists. After being freed, she lived in Germany and continued her studies for awhile before returning to Chile. Trained as a doctor, she began working for health organizations back in her home country, which eventually propelled her into politics.

After being elected president on January 15, 2006, she named an equal number of men and women cabinet members. She also appointed people from a wide variety of different parties, keeping consistent with the idea of balanced power. You can read more about Michelle Bachelet in New Moon's September/October 2006 issue, "Politics and Leaders," or you can read about other strong Latina women at http://www.newmoongirls.com/.

No comments: