Irina Karamanos announces that she will leave the functions of first lady of the Chilean Government

Karamanos walks in New York with his partner, Chilean President Gabriel Boric, in the framework of the 77th UN General Assembly.Fernando Ramírez – @fotografoencampana

Irina Karamanos, 32, girlfriend of Chilean President Gabriel Boric, confirmed on Monday that she will leave her position as socio-cultural coordinator “probably” before the end of the year. The social scientist she assumed in March the leadership of the six foundations of the sociocultural network of the Presidency that correspond to the role of the first lady, a role that she criticized from the feminist perspective before assuming it. The efforts, as she announced this Monday morning at the Palacio de La Moneda, are focused on transferring the management of the foundations to related ministries and giving them greater autonomy.

“The change processes are carried out in a responsible manner, and for this reason, also with the support of the authorities and in conjunction with the foundations, we will make the announcement at the moment that this process has matured,” Karamanos said about his departure, before add that “it will most likely happen by the end of the year.” The journalists asked him about the subject after Third will advance the news on Sunday.

When Gabriel Boric won the second presidential round, one of the doubts was whether Karamanos would assume the role of first lady since they had proposed abolishing it during the campaign. “We will generate a body that is transparent, based on merit and civil service careers, and not on blood ties or affinity with the President,” Boric said in June 2021 as a candidate. Last January, Karamanos announced that she would play the role “with the commitment to reformulate it.”

Last week, Karamanos accompanied the Chilean president on his tour to New York in the framework of the United Nations Assembly and participated in activities focused on gender, political and academic issues. During the forum “Dialogues on transformation processes in institutional politics in Latin America and beyond”, organized by The New School for Social Research, she assured that “it is important to inhabit institutional spaces to transform them.” At the meeting, she argued that the government was convinced that if she did not occupy the position of first lady “with leadership of change, the space would automatically repeat itself in its traditional version.”

During the almost seven months that she has been a sociocultural coordinator, the social scientist with studies in Anthropology has led workshops related to native peoples, decentralization and the promotion of linguistic rights and LGBTI people, in coordination with some ministries, such as Women and Gender Equity.

One of the controversies that has marked her term in office occurred at the end of June, when it was made public that on March 30, through a resolution, the First Lady’s Cabinet was renamed the Irina Karamanos Cabinet and expanded its functions . The modification provoked an avalanche of criticism that made the government back down in less than 24 hours since the news broke.

Before assuming the leadership of the six foundations of the sociocultural network of the Presidency (Integra, Prodemu, Todo Chilenter, Artesanías de Chile, Tiempos Nuevos and the Youth and Children’s Orchestras of Chile), Karamanos was in charge of the feminist front of the Convergence party Social, where Boric is active, and worked at the Procultura Foundation, dedicated to generating development opportunities in isolated territories.

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