The Women’s Union Sews the Sling of the New Chilean President

A number of members of the Chilean Revolutionary Women’s Textile Union, Siretex dedicated themselves to creating a new presidential sash for President-elect Gabriel Boric to wear at his inauguration on March 11, 2022.

The sixteen union members were responsible for weaving and sewing the pieces of cloth together.

Costume design expert Ivonne Barrera said it was one of the most important engagements she received for her country.

“In all my work I give my best, but in this case, I am more than going down in history as someone who takes action. I am called in many ways, but I feel that this is for the sake of the country, for the changes that are needed. This is the most important thing,” he said.

Barrera was among the last generation to study fashion design in Chilean colleges before the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990) when the now-defunct industry still existed in Chile.

The Siretex women presented Boric with two presidential belts and a third decorated with a special hand embroidery depicting Chile’s recent history.

Spokeswoman Marta Gatica said this was a moment for the women’s union to make their contribution visible and “to unite for the greater good.”

“To recognize those who work for human rights, livelihoods, and also empower women and the textile industry,” he said.

Chile's President-elect Gabriel Boric celebrates with his supporters after winning the presidential election in Santiago, Chile, December 19, 2021. (Photo: REUTERS/Rodrigo Garrido)

Chile’s President-elect Gabriel Boric celebrates with his supporters after winning the presidential election in Santiago, Chile, December 19, 2021. (Photo: REUTERS/Rodrigo Garrido)

Boric, 36 before his inauguration, will become the youngest person to ever serve as Chile’s president.

His term will coincide with a public referendum on a new constitution being drafted by the constitutional assembly and potentially changing the shape of Chile’s political system as a whole.

Currently the constitution of the South American country was adopted under the dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet, who led the coup against socialist President Salvador Allende. [mg/lt]