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The Role of Women in Contemporary Paraguayan and South American Politics

February 19, 2008

Since the coup of 1989, after a 35 years brutal dictatorship of former president Alfredo Stroessner, the Paraguayans began a long journey to democracy. High expectations and hope to a better future was sowed among all of the youth. Little by little, all dictators from the southern Latin countries merged to a new era as well. It has been passed almost 20 years since this event and the so called “transition” to democracy became “stagnation”. Being the second poorest country in South America, this country is now facing back to presidential elections. This would be the fifth “democratic” elections and still the governing political party in the power is the same since 1954. While change looks to be a constant in this world, Paraguay remained the same until last year, where for the first time in the Paraguayan democratic history a woman is proposed to be president from the governing party for the coming period 2008-2013. Is this a real change or just the effect of regional/worldwide redirection towards women?

Chileans and recently Argentineans have chosen a woman for this relevant task. In this presentation, I would like to discuss not only about the political/social direction of my country but also the political tendency of this Latin American Region.