On September 28, 2023, Area Mujer Paraguay worked in collaboration with the Permanent Advisory Committee on Equity and Gender of the Senate of the National Congress to organize the National Forum: “Current Laws for the Protection of Women in the Context of Peace and Security.”
Area Mujer advances women and families in Peacebuilding in Paraguay as a joint collaboration between Global Peace Foundation Paraguay and Global Peace Women. Programs like this forum uplift women and empower them to contribute to Peacebuilding, starting in the family—helping them foster international connections, share innovative ideas, and mutual support each other as activists for peace in their communities.
The meeting, which took place during the International Day of Peace Week, was held at the Bicameral Hall of the Congress. It brought together leaders, experts, and women’s rights advocates, legislators and representatives of public and private institutions and civil society organizations to address fundamental issues in the search for a more just and equitable Paraguay.
The main purpose of the forum was to share knowledge and experiences regarding the laws in place that promote and protect women’s rights in Paraguay. This event provided a crucial space for the exchange of ideas and deep reflection on how to reinforce and make full use of these laws for the benefit of all Paraguayan women. During the event, solid commitments were generated in the search for new mechanisms and strategies to guarantee the effective implementation of these laws.
The forum was a call to action to the participants to create a safer and more peaceful environment for women in the society.
Among those who were present was Jadiyi Arza, General Director of Liaison of the Senate, on behalf of Senator Zenaida Delgado Benítez, was invited to participate in the welcoming ceremony of the Forum. Mrs. María Ester Jiménez, President of the Women’s Area of the Global Peace Foundation and current Vice Minister of the Ministry of Social Development, contextualized the reason for the event. She shared her vision of the growing problem of violence in the country, highlighting the urgent need to address the issue in a comprehensive and effective manner.
“We are all aware of the issue of violence, a scourge that has become like an epidemic in Paraguay. Gender based violence against women, both physical and psychological, in the country is estimated to be 78.5% which is higher than any other South American country,” said Mrs. María Ester Jiménez.
Other participants present included Ms. Sonia Brucke Romero, current Vice-Minister of Equality and Non-Discrimination of the Ministry of Women, Dr. María Liz García de Arnold, former Minister of the Ministry of National Defense and current Rector of the Metropolitan University of Asunción, who took part in a panel discussion moderated by Ms. María Angélica (Teté) Cano Radil, International Consultant.
“The deep inequality between men and women is not only seen in the terrible cases of femicide but other indicators of deep inequality such as; wage gap, political representation, security and education,” Cano Radil firmly stated during the conversation. Her words resonated deeply, challenging entrenched perceptions and pointing a way towards a true understanding of the issue.
The inequalities, she reiterated, generates violence, poverty and exclusion, and power gap between men and women.
“The gender perspective not only helps us to understand the problem of inequality, it also helps us to seek a solution in public policies,” she added. Her call for shared responsibility highlighted that eradicating this scourge requires a joint effort by the society as a whole and an unequivocal commitment by the state.
Ms. Sonia Brucke summarized in her presentation the legal framework of the laws presented at the forum, as well as the existence of the Ministry of Women and the first steps of the institution, 30 years ago, took the floor.
“The commitment to this issue is not one with the function, but with the militancy of life itself,” she said.
Senator Ever Villalba, who was present during the event, offered the male point of view on the need for equality of conditions. The forum concluded with the hope for more unity and a more just and safer Paraguay where all voices are heard and all women are respected and protected. Learn more Global Peace Women