Hugo Chavez, a ladies man, but not only in the way you think

Hugo Chavez, Venezuela, women, Nicolas Maduro

Hugo Chavez: Winning the women’s vote

If you don’t vote Maduro, you don’t love your mother. Fascinating story in the Christian Science Monitor about Hugo Chavez’s progressive reform of Venezuelan politics and policy and its impact on women, particularly older ones.

Chavez brought about key changes to the country’s constitution and angled social welfare and health policies towards women. He made it possible for them the poorest, the most ordinary wives and mothers to become community leaders. His government recognized domestic labor as an economic contribution. And he even famously said there could be no socialism without feminism.

“Chávez made popular women central protagonists in his politics,” CSM quotes academic Sujatha Fernandes to say. She has written ‘Barrio Women and Popular Politics in Chávez’s Venezuela’ and she’s an associate professor of sociology at Queens College in New York.

If she’s right and there’s no reason why she shouldn’t be, this is why the government has dared to say a vote for the opposition is a vote against your mother. They might easily have added, or your wife? Or sister or daughter?

Today’s the day. It’s not quite Venezuela’s day of destiny. That, arguably happened 14 years ago when Hugo Chavez was first elected. But it is certainly a day loaded with high emotion.