Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner

In 2007 Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner made history when she became only the second woman to be elected President of Argentina. She was the first woman in the country to be directly elected as President, and the first to serve a second term.
Cristina ran a law practice with her husband before entering politics in 1983. She was elected to the provincial legislature in 1987 before serving four years as the First Lady of Santa Cruz after her husband was elected governor. She herself was elected to the Argentine Senate for the first time in 1995. She was re-elected in 2001 but in 2003 her husband was elected President of Argentina and so took a lower profile in Congress in order to fulfill her role as First Lady.

When her husband decided not to run for re-election in 2007 Cristina took her chance. As First Lady, she had the support of a large part of the population and in the election itself, she won almost twice as many votes as her nearest competitor. She faced a variety of challenges once her presidency began including inflation, a faulty energy infrastructure, and strikes by farmers. The strikes were a result of increases that she implemented and it lead to her party losing control in the midterm elections.

The second half of her first term was more successful as Argentina became the first Latin American country to legalise same-sex marriage. The country’s economy had recovered from the start of her presidency, and she was re-elected in 2011. Her second term as President was not as successful. The country’s economy had to deal with the issue of rising inflation and in 2014 the country went into technical default as they could no longer pay back the loans that they had taken out. In Argentina people are limited to serving two terms as President and so in 2015 she stepped down.

Since she left office she has faced a number of scandals, including corruption charges while in office and will stand trial on charges financial mismanagement while serving as President. This is alleged to have cost the country hundreds of millions of dollars.

-Michelle O’Brien
Junior Girl
Girl Museum Inc.

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