Media Center

Press Release


  November 24, 2003

Yadira Henríquez, President of the Inter-American Commission of Women (CIM), an Organization of American States (OAS) specialized agency, has issued the following message to mark November 25 as International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women:

“On this important occasion, I would like to address the Delegates and all those who work with the CIM and/or contribute in some way to the defense of women’s human rights.

“The Inter-American Commission of Women has been a pioneer in the fight to prevent, punish, and eradicate violence against women. It has earned the distinction of doing something that has yet to be equaled or surpassed: beginning and carrying on the process of consulting with governments to achieve adoption of what is today known as the Convention of Belém do Pará, the only convention in the world on this subject.

“The Convention has been a starting point and an important tool that we must use with conviction, resolve and commitment. Implementing laws adopted pursuant to the Convention continues to pose a challenge. Our laws must be amended, improved upon, and, above all, brought into line with the Convention’s objectives. It is not only domestic violence that affects us. Other forms of violence must be dealt with as well–forms of violence that also erode and weaken our societies and that were addressed by this important international instrument.

“As President of the CIM, in commemoration of this date, allow me to congratulate you on your contributions and to invite you to continue the task that lies ahead. While we may have enjoyed many successes, we must also be realistic and recognize that many women are continuing to suffer and to die as a result of gender-based violence.

“The CIM, 75 years young and vigorous, remains in the vanguard, paving the way as concerns this issue. I have initiated a process of consultations with governments to establish the most appropriate measures for ensuring a systematic and ongoing follow-up to the Convention’s implementation in the Hemisphere. For that reason, I would like to reaffirm today the commitment of the CIM to move toward this new objective and to invite you to continue to support the Commission as the preeminent inter-American forum for fighting for women’s rights in all member countries of the OAS.

“Thus, my thanks go out to the Delegates and Executive Secretariat of the CIM, to the staff of the General Secretariat, and to civil society for their historic contribution to the cause of women, which is reflected in their efforts in the pursuit of gender equality and equity.”

Reference: E-229/03