Chavez wins Venezuelan women's hearts

Women say president's socialism empowers them but critics insist overtures to supporters are a political ploy.

    Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan president, continues to enjoy high popularity among the nation's women, as thousands continue to vote for him and carry his message of socialism to the masses.

    For 13 years now, Chavez has been able to count on the support of working class women, most notably, in 2002 when they marched for his safe return during a failed coup against him.

    The socialist leader's female constituency say it is because Chavez includes them in the decisions that most affect their lives.

    At 70 per cent, the majority of representatives on Venezuela's communal councils are women, and the Chavez government funds over 3,400 female-run kitchens that each feed up to 100 women and children per day.

    Though his supporters say Chavez's initiatives show that feminism and socialism go hand-in-hand, critics say the president's overtures to women are merely political ploys for continued support.

    Al Jazeera's Adam Raney reports from Petare.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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