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Chile’s recent move to democracy has not yet brought benefits to women. Under the old military regime, economic liberalisation boosted inequality and poverty. A decline in State welfare and male employment forced women into poorly paid jobs, on top of domestic work. On the other hand, women’s groups played an important role in establishing the new Government, which is formally committed to addressing their needs. The National Women’s Service has been set up to develop public policies specifically for women, but there is still a long way to go.

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