Colombia set to elect first female Vice President

Latin America

Amidst election indecision one thing is for certain: Colombia is about to have a woman  as vice president for the first time in history.

CGTN’s Michelle Begue reports from Bogota.

Both presidential candidates have respected female politicians as their running mates. Some would believe this is a move to win the female vote. There are more registered women voters than male in Colombia. But political analyst Angelica Bernal has said their political ideas have nothing to do with gender.

“They come from different backgrounds, different political ideas, and have different visions for their country,” said Bernal, Director of Political Science at Tadeo Lozano University. “Whoever gets to the presidency will mark a difference. It won’t be the same.”

Right Winged Ivan Duque has Martha Lucia Ramirez as his running mate. Ramirez is a career politician who studied law and was a fellow at the Center for International Studies at the United States’ Harvard University. In 2002 she became Colombia’s first female defense Minister and is described as a conservative politicians who was staunchly opposed to President Santos’ peace talks with FARC rebels.

Marta Lucia Ramirez (C), running mate of Colombia’s presidential candidate for the Democratic Center Party, Ivan Duque (Out to frame) greets supporters during a campaign rally in Cali, Colombia on June 8, 2018. (AFP PHOTO / Luis ROBAY)

Angela Robledo is left-winge, Gustavo’s Petro’s running mate. Robledo is a psychologist and former congresswoman. She has been active in women’s rights and combating sexual violence against women.

Gustavo Petro, right, presidential candidate for Colombia Humana and his running mate Angela Robledo, attend a campaign rally in Bogota, Colombia, Friday, June 8, 2018. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)

While this will be a historic moment for Colombian women in politics, Bernal believes a true impact will only be achieved if women’s rights are advanced during the four-year term.

“If we see a government that fights for women’s rights, and that helps transform the cultural norms that bring on discrimination and inequality, only then will we truly advance,” she said.

What these women will be doing in office will be determined after the winner is chosen. Colombia’s constitution states the president is the one who directs the vice president’s duties.