The Congress of the Republic of Peru and ParlAmericas organized a high-level parliamentary dialogue on achieving women’s full political participation within the framework of the 52nd General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS)
The event, “Consolidating the full political participation of women: building consensus,” co-organized by ParlAmericas and the Congress of the Republic of Peru—on the occasion of its bicentennial—was held in Lima, Peru on October 6, 2022, on the margins of the OAS General Assembly, which took place October 5–7, 2022, and was focused on addressing inequality and discrimination in the countries of the region.
The President of the Congress of the Republic of Peru, José Williams Zapata, delivered the welcoming remarks, highlighting the role of women in Peruvian politics: “The law of quotas and, afterwards, the law on gender parity and alternation have enabled a greater presence and representation of women in government through the popular vote.A clear example is that in the current legislative period we have the largest female presence in the parliament’s history.” In addition, he affirmed that the parliament is not only witnessing a greater presence and prominence of women, but also that the legislative agenda has been enriched by the establishment of the Group of Peruvian Women Parliamentarians (Mesa de Mujeres Parlamentarias Peruanas) for the 2021–2026 period, which contributes to the legislative debate.
In turn, Senator Blanca Ovelar (Paraguay), President of ParlAmericas, emphasized “the importance of women’s political participation for the advancement towards building fairer and more equitable societies,” indicating that ParlAmericas promotes laws and good practices on gender equality, complementing the initiatives of the inter-American system and encouraging the construction of a solid and secure democratic institutional framework, which safeguards the public’s objectives. “At ParlAmericas, we are convinced that we will reach our goals by sharing our experiences, demonstrating mutual support and solidarity, and promoting an increasingly authentic representation of society that respects diversity and is a genuine expression of the people.”
Senator Verónica Noemí Camino Farjat (Mexico), President of the ParlAmericas Parliamentary Network for Gender Equality moderated the panel “Women’s political participation: facing persistent barriers,” which included presentations by the executive secretary of the Inter-American Commission of Women of the OAS, Alejandra Mora Mora, and Member of Congress María del Carmen Alva Prieto (Peru), Chair of the Committee on Foreign Relations. They discussed various strategies for generating conditions that enable women’s political leadership at all levels, taking into account the importance of political consensus and collaboration with other societal actors to promote women’s full political participation.
Afterwards, Peruvian parliamentarians shared their reflections: Member of Congress Rosangela Barbarán Reyes, Chairwoman of the Committee on Economy, Banking, Finance, and Financial Intelligence; Member of Congress Nieves Limachi, Member of the Board of Directors and Vice-President of the Group of Peruvian Women Parliamentarians; Member of Congress Lady Camones, Vice-Chair of the Committee on Constitution and Regulation; Member of Congress Flor Pablo, Member of the Board of Directors; Member of Congress Hilda Portero, Chair of the Special Multi-Party Committee for the Monitoring, Oversight, and Supervision of the Zero Hunger Program; Member of Congress Ruth Luque, Member of the Board of Directors; Member of Congress Susel Paredes; Member of Congress Isabel Cortez; and Member of Congress Mery Infantes.
Lastly, Member of Congress Nieves Limachi (Peru) delivered the closing remarks of the session, highlighting the importance of consensus-building. In conclusion, the session provided an opportunity for parliamentarians to exchange considerations, experiences, and best practices on actions and strategies to promote women’s participation in the political sphere in the Americas and the Caribbean, taking into account the current challenges and emphasizing that parliaments are a fundamental part of democratic systems.