The Presidency’s Sociocultural Coordination, headed by social scientist Irina Karamanos, ceased its functions on Saturday 31 December.

Yesterday, however, Karamanos left the Palacio de La Moneda after meeting with the former first ladies and former sociocultural directors who held the post before her. Part of this meeting was private, to be followed later by the participation of the Heritage team, the first meeting of a plan to establish a space where the role that the woman had in the Palace and in her office, who were the people who led her and what they did, will be remembered in the future.

Given a role that depends on the patriarchal way in which those who have assumed this function are determined, recovering a recognition of their work, of their contribution, seems an important gesture that vindicates in part the effort they have made.

This new project, now in the hands of the Heritage team, will define a space in La Moneda and will seek to make visible the role of those who accompanied the management of their partners, without having been democratically elected or having sufficient qualifications to carry out the professional tasks entrusted to them at the time.

If the site sees the light of day, it will have texts, photographs and testimonies available for visitors, which will recount the contribution of women, the plans implemented by the first ladies and data from that office, which is now part of a historic past.

Chile is moving forward with these gestures by Irina Karamanos that seek to alleviate power, dismantling unnecessary functions that have been rendered obsolete by the advance of women in all fields, for a new look that assumes parity in full, as part of the cultural transformations underway.

The meeting convened by Karamanos was attended by Cecilia Morel, wife of Sebastián Piñera; Luisa Durán, wife of Ricardo Lagos; and Marta Larraechea, spouse of Eduardo Frei. Also present were former socio-cultural directors Paula Forttes, María Eugenia Hirmas and Adriana Delpiano. Representing Leonor Oyarzún, now deceased and first lady after the return to democracy in the government of her husband Patricio Aylwin, were her daughter Isabel and Sara Aylwin, her granddaughter, who were consulted for their opinion on the design of the project to remember the role of women in the government palace.