December 21, 2013
Former senator replies to president’s speechFriday, August 16, 2013
‘Chiche’ Duhalde: maybe women shouldn’t hold political office
Former senator Hilda “Chiche” González de Duhalde, the wife of former caretaker president Eduardo Duhalde, yesterday shocked the political world when she suggested women may not be fit for politics.
“There should be a national debate about whether women are prepared for politics, given their characteristics, conditions and convictions, or if they should simply support another person’s project,” González de Duhalde said. “It’s something I’ve been thinking of in private.”
The former senator, who has been out of politics for several years now, took the president’s speech on Wednesday as an opportunity to ponder the role of women in politics while also criticizing Fernández de Kirchner for “not acknowledging her defeat” in Sunday’s primaries.
Fernández de Kirchner delivered a strong speech on Wednesday in which she fired at the opposition and then took to Twitter to slam the media.
The president made a veiled reference to González de Duhalde using her nickname “Chiche” in a tweet criticizing those suggesting a “Plan Duhalde II” to solve Argentina’s economic problems because, according to Fernández de Kirchner, those plans led to the devastating 2001 meltdown.
The head of state was also referring to Malena Galmarini, the wife of Tigre Mayor Sergio Massa, another politically influential wife. Massa, head of the Renewal Front, garnered more votes than the Victory Front in the coveted and decisive Buenos Aires province.
“Chiche” Duhalde cited Fernández de Kirchner as an example of “a woman exercising power who uses her emotional lobe more than her rational one, which does not make women look good.” Nonetheless, she added that “there are other examples in the world of women who know how to wield power.”
“In Argentina, it will be very hard for our gender to achieve high ranks in politics after this disastrous experience,” she said on Radio Mitre. The former senator added the president was “going through a period of mental instability,” adding that “by not acknowledging her electoral defeat she puts us all in a very unfortunate position.”
Women from both the ruling coalition and the opposition reacted to Duhalde’s remarks.
Centre-left lawmaker Victoria Donda (Libres del Sur) said the comments were “sexist and disrespectful to women in politics,” and she described Duhalde as “reactionary.”
FpV candidate Victoria Montenegro also said the statement was “sexist,” adding that “it may not be easy, but we are not weak, we are capable of doing politics.”
According to Duhalde’s wife, the head of state “should recognize what happened, ask herself what went wrong, and she will surely find a solution. With a few changes, she could leave this country with a strengthened democracy and more republicanism.”
She concluded: “My name is Hilda Beatriz González de Duhalde and it is no burden, I am very proud of it.”
Fernández de Kirchner and González de Duhalde had an altercation during a Peronist summit in 2004.
—Herald staff with DyN, Télam