Magazine article Americas (English Edition)

Women and Power: For a World of Equality

Magazine article Americas (English Edition)

Women and Power: For a World of Equality

Article excerpt

In 2007, the General Assembly of the OAS proclaimed 2010 the "Inter-American Year of Women," in recognition both of the progress made and of the challenges that remain to full equality between men and women in our hemisphere.

The contribution of women to society, politics, and the economy is an essential precursor to democratic governance and inclusive and sustainable human development. This declaration has been repeated by countless heads of state and of inter-governmental and international organizations over the last twenty years.

The theme of the Inter-American Year of Women, Women and Power: For a World of Equality, points to a disturbing reality: in spite of the achievements made and the massive and active participation of women, their real access to power and influence in decision-making processes is still very limited.

Latin America and the Caribbean is the region that has made the most progress in terms of establishing a legal and normative framework for the recognition and protection of the rights of women, including the landmark Inter-American Convention to Prevent, Punish and Eradicate Violence against Women (1994). For many women in the region, however, this framework is nothing more than well-intentioned words on paper. The Americas is also the region that has seen the greatest increase in income inequality, and the face of poverty in this region is female.

Within this context, the purpose of the Inter-American Year of Women was to promote broad mobilization in the Americas, as well as to raise public awareness of gender issues. The Year became a space for reflection, celebration, and renewal of our commitment to advance towards the realization of women's human rights and the achievement of gender equality in the Americas.

The members of Inter-American Commission of Women (CIM) were active in organizing a wide range of events to celebrate the Year, both at the national level and at OAS headquarters. Argentina hosted a MERCOSUR Specialized Meeting on Women (June 2010). Brazil hosted the 11th Regional Conference on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean (July 2010). Colombia organized Expoempresaria 2010 to bring together women entrepreneurs from all over the country (June 2010) and the Permanent Mission of Colombia to the OAS sponsored several cultural events at OAS headquarters in Washington, DC. In Jamaica, the Jamaica Women's Political Caucus' Institute for Public Leadership hosted a workshop to train aspiring female politicians in candidate selection and campaign management (September 2010). …

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