Sixty-five years ago, on June 20, 1949, the National Constituent Assembly of Costa Rica approved the right of women to vote and to participate in popularly elected positions. This historic date has been celebrated since 2017, every June 20, as the National Day of Recognition of the Political Rights of Costa Rican Women. This year, the Women’s Institute (INAMU) together with the Minister for the Status of Women, Mrs. Cindy Quesada, celebrated said day remembering with admiration the first three women who managed to occupy a seat in the country: Ana Rosa Chacón González, Estela Quesada Hernández and María Teresa Obregón Zamora. It also celebrates the achievements of the suffragettes for the right to vote and to be elected, a struggle that still continues.

Costa Rican women’s right to vote – photo taken from INAMU

Inequality between Men and Women in Politics Indeed, “the data and the reality regarding the violence suffered by women in politics due to their gender condition, especially at the local level, continue to be of concern”, states INAMU. The statistics are eloquent: during the election of the presidencies of the Municipal Councils last May, “only 28.04% of women occupied the presidencies (23 women out of 82 mayorships). For the mayoral elections held in 2020, only 24.4% of women managed to occupy the position of presidents of Municipal Councils, that is, 20 out of 82 mayoralties.”

In other words, there is still a long way to go to achieve equality between men and women in politics in Costa Rica. For this reason, the National Day for the Recognition of the Political Rights of Costa Rican Women continues to be celebrated.

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Author: M. Barrantes for Sensorial Sunsets,Costa%20Rica%20en%20sesi%C3%B3n%20No.