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News : International : Organization of American States (OAS) Last Updated: Jun 12, 2018 - 1:35:56 AM

Inter-American Task Force on Women's Empowerment and Leadership
By Inter-American Commission of Women
Jun 11, 2018 - 10:01:36 PM

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Washington DC. The second working meeting of the Inter-American Task Force on Women's Empowerment and Leadership was held on June 6th at OAS headquarters. This initiative was launched during the Eighth Summit of the Americas, held in April 2018 in Peru, with a view to contributing to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 5 in the region, specifically Target 5.5: "Ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life."

The meeting of the Task Force was inaugurated by the President of the CIM, Minister for Women and Vulnerable Populations of Peru (MIMP), Ana María Mendieta, who recalled that "one of the great challenges we have in the region is precisely the empowerment of women in all aspects of life." Mendieta also noted that efforts to eradicate violence against women need to be accompanied by strengthening the political autonomy of women, the ability to decide and the ability to participate in the political life of their community.

Jennifer Loten, Permanent Representative of Canada to the OAS, spoke about the impact that is sought with the formulation of this Task Force: “There is a tremendous amount of good work in terms of women’s leadership in the hemisphere, and we all know about it but we haven’t been able to bring it together. We see this as a regionally focused initiative that can be projected globally, and that has a real impact on women's lives." She also announced that the Government of Canada will allocate funds to support this initiative for a period of 3 years, following the commitment of the North American country to advancing gender equality and the empowerment of women.

After the welcoming words, the Task Force members held a dialogue with Gwen Young, Director of the "Women's Leadership Global Initiative and Women in Public Service Project" of the Wilson Center, who shared relevant data on global progress towards the equal participation of women in politics and leadership, and with Roopa Dhatt, Executive Director of Women in Global Health, who presented their work to achieve gender parity and leadership of women in the area of global health.

At the end of the meeting, the representatives of the CIM/OAS, PAHO, IDB, ECLAC, ParlAmericas, UN Women, CIWIL and CLADEM worked to establish the activities that the group will carry out, the challenges and opportunities that will be faced, and finally the definition of the Work Plan for the 2018-2021 period.

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