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Women's Commission and OAS Permanent Council Celebrate 90 years of the CIM's Work for Gender Equality

  February 20, 2018

Women's Commission and OAS Permanent Council Celebrate 90 years of the CIM's Work for Gender Equality
Photo: OAS

The Inter-American Commission of Women (CIM) and the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) today held a special high-level meeting to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the Commission at the headquarters of the hemispheric Organization in Washington, DC, during which gains made in terms of equal rights were celebrated, but in which it was also noted that the region has the worst rates of gender violence in the world.

The President of the CIM, Ana María Choquehuanca, said that although the Americas have the most advanced legislation - after Western Europe - on women's rights, 14 of the 25 countries in the world with the highest rates of feminicide are located in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The Chair of the Permanent Council and Ambassador of Chile, Juan Anibal Barría, affirmed that although women have made important progress, the violence they suffer remains one of the issues that impedes development. "Women - and in this we highlight the work of the CIM - have promoted their role as actors for peace, democracy and development in the hemisphere," said the Chilean diplomat.

The OAS Assistant Secretary General, Nestor Mendez, highlighted the Organization's support for the emergence of women leaders in the hemisphere, and gave examples such as the movements #NiUnaMenos, #MeToo and #TimesUp, which "makes clear that women they will not accept any roll-backs in the rights they have conquered over the last century."

The high-level session was attended by the Vice President and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Panama, Isabel de Saint Malo; the Vice President of Ecuador, Maria Alejandra Vicuña; the second Vice President of Costa Rica, Ana Helena Chacón; the Judge of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, Elizabeth Odio Benito; and the activist for the rights of the indigenous communities of Guatemala, Otilia Lux de Coti, among others. In addition, the President of Chile, Michelle Bachelet, sent a video message.

The CIM was created in 1928 by a group of American women pioneers with the aim of establishing women as a subject of law and active agents of development and democracy.

Reference: FNE-73330