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August 28, 2013
Elections for the Group of Women Parliamentarians Executive Committee

Elections were held for positions on the Executive Committee of the Group of Women Parliamentarians last week during the 10th Plenary Assembly of ParlAmericas in San Jose, Costa Rica.

Dr. Jennifer Simons, Speaker of the National Assembly of Suriname, was elected as President of the Group by participating parliamentarians during the final session of the plenary. Martha González Dávila, Member of the National Assembly of Nicaragua, was elected Vice-President within the Group’s sessions.

The Group of Women Parliamentarians brought a gender perspective to the plenary by organizing a meeting on the topic of connecting women’s rights to food security.

The recommendations developed in the working group sessions focused on encouraging legislative agendas and regulatory frameworks that promote a human rights approach in the struggle for food and nutrition security, with a special focus on women’s roles in the fight against hunger. They also encouraged greater harmony between the three branches of government in order to ensure non-discrimination against women in the administration of justice.

Dr. Jennifer Simons, newly elected President of the Group of Women Parliamentarians, explained, “We discussed the subject of food security, which is not guaranteed for many sections of our populations. In the meeting of the Group of Women Parliamentarians we focused on the challenges that women face, and recommended several strategies to the governments of the region in order to ensure women’s access to all that is necessary to produce food and provide for their families. Once again we learned from one another and that is what ParlAmericas is about.”

Under this new leadership, the Group of Women Parliamentarians, the only permanent working group of ParlAmericas, will continue to increase its influence in mainstreaming gender in the legislative agendas of the parliaments in the hemisphere. The Group will begin to organize the next Annual Gathering of the Group of Women Parliamentarians to be held in mid-2014.