Press Advisory


The OAS to Host Forum to Analyze Women’s Leadership in the Americas

  March 29, 2011

The Organization of American States (OAS), through its Inter-American Commission of Women (CIM) and jointly with UN Women and the Ibero-American General Secretariat (SEGIB), will hold the First Hemispheric Forum on "Women's Leadership for Citizens' Democracy” from April 4 to 6. The event seeks to improve understanding of the current challenges faced by democratic systems in guaranteeing the exercise of women’s substantive political citizenship.

The forum will take place at OAS headquarters in Washington, DC, and will feature the participation of senior political leaders and academics from different countries of the hemisphere who will discuss women’s visions, experiences, and aspirations in the construction process of a citizen democracy with full equality for men and women.

The opening ceremony will include speeches by OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza and the President of the CIM, Rocio Garcia Gaytan. The Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women, Michelle Bachelet, and the Secretary General of the Ibero-American General Secretariat, Enrique Iglesias, will send video messages. The Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Kamla Persad-Bissessar, will present a lecture on the challenges to women’s equality in democratic systems in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Among the people invited to participate in the three-day event are the President of Argentina, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner; the President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff; the Minister of the Economy, Industry and Commerce of Costa Rica, Antillón Mayi; the Mayor of Lima, Peru, Susana Villar; the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navanethem Pillay; and the Former Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition of Saint Lucia, Kenny D. Anthony.

The topics to be discussed at the forum include: the current situation of women’s human rights and related challenges; evaluating the exercise of those rights and monitoring at the hemispheric level; perspectives on democracy and women's political citizenship; and citizenship rights and the new state for an inclusive and plural democracy.

The Hemispheric Forum will follow up on commitments adopted by Member States of the OAS and the UN through regional and international agreements involving the civil and political rights of women.

The Hemispheric Forum will be broadcast live on the OAS Website, here.

WHAT: Hemispheric Forum: “Women’s Leadership for Citizens’ Democracy”

WHEN: April 4 – 6, 2011

WHERE: Hall of the Americas
Organization of American States
17th Street & Constitution Avenue, NW

Reference: AVI-059/11