Paraguay's First Woman Presidential Candidate tries to Crack Macho Culture

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Paraguay's First Woman Presidential Candidate tries to Crack Macho Culture

The feminist party, Kuña Pyrenda ("platform" in the indigenous language Guarani), has put forth Lilian Soto, a surgeon and graduate in Public Administration from the University of Ohio, to lead the South American nation of 6.5 million. Magui Balbuena, head of the National Coordination of Rural and Indigenous Women, is running for vice president. A leftist militant since her student years, Soto, 50, appears confident, even though polls have her trailing far behind leading candidates, Horacio Cartes, a tobacco magnate and former public works minister Rival Efrain Alegre, vying for the presidency 10 months after the resignation of Fernando Lugo, the former “bishop of the poor” ousted by Parliament.Still, despite her slim chances Sunday, Soto is proud to have “introduced the feminine element into the political debate.” She says that a “feminist and socialist moAprilvement was necessary in Paraguay, where gender inequalities, just like social inequalities, are ignored by traditional parties.” 

(We invite our users to read the complete article published April 19 2013)

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