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May 9, 2012
Opening of the Annual Gathering of the Group of Women Parliamentarians

The Annual Gathering of the Group of Women Parliamentarians began this morning in Valparaiso, Chile, under the main theme Citizen Security for Women: A Parliamentary Task. The parliamentary meeting was inaugurated by Member of the National Assembly of Ecuador, Linda Machuca, President of the Group of Women Parliamentarians; Member of the Chamber of Deputies of Chile, Mónica Zalaquett; and President of the Chamber of Deputies of Chile, Nicolás Monckeberg, who thanked the participant parliamentarians for coming together to reflect on issues of inclusion of women in political life in the American states, and the defense of women facing gender violence.

Mr. Monckeberg noted the importance of moving towards a quota law to determine a specific number of women to participate in parliament. Participants were also greeted, via video, by the President of ParlAmericas, Randy Hoback, and the President of Chile, Sebastian Piñera, who appreciated the meeting and said “When women enter politics, policy changes for the better, because the contribution of women in politics is absolutely central, and Latin America is in debt. We need more women integrated into the world of politics, as that will improve society.”

The words of Ms. Zalaquett followed, one of the promoters of the event, who praised as essential “to see how can the budgets of each of our countries deal with the complexity of this scourge that is violence against women.”

Ms. Machuca thanked the Chilean people for their hospitality and indicated that this call is politically transcendent and affects the legislative agenda as it seeks “to analyze what is happening in Latin America with regard to violence against women, and in every country, and discuss how we can respond through the legislation that we construct in each of our countries.”

Women parliamentarians participating in the event represent countries such as Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Grenada, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Saint Vincent, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, and Uruguay.