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May 17, 2013
Closing of the Annual Gathering of the Group of Women Parliamentarians

The Annual Gathering of the Group of Women Parliamentarians, Women in Power: Recent Changes in the Political Arena, which gathered together more than 50 parliamentarians from 21 countries of North America, Central America, the Caribbean, and South America, ended this afternoon.

The meeting included working sessions with Jennifer Simons, Speaker of the National Assembly of Suriname, and Gisele Isaac-Arrindell, Speaker of the House of Representatives of Antigua and Barbuda (Session 1: Women presidents of national legislatures); Beatriz Ramírez Abella, Director of the National Women’s Institute of Uruguay – INMUJERES (Session 2: Leadership and political participation of women of African descent); Cynthia Barrow Giles, senior lecturer in politics at the University of the West Indies, from Saint Lucia (Session 3: The effects of women’s participation in politics); and keynote speaker Maureen Clarke Clarke, Minister of the Status of Women of Costa Rica.

Jennifer Simons, host of the Gathering and Acting President of the Group of Women Parliamentarians, stated, “The discussions are important but when we return to our countries, we have to translate the ideas into action plans and implement the actions we have marked as important for each of our countries.” During her closing remarks she also highlighted that the 10th Plenary Assembly of ParlAmericas will take place in Costa Rica (August 22-24, 2013) and urged participants to join the meeting, which, under the overarching theme of Economic Development will address natural resources development and food secuirty. “I would like to see all of your countries there, because the way we will go about our economic development will prove to be important for the well-being of every group in our societies and in fact ultimately for the very survival of our societies and peoples.”