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The Second Meeting of Experts on political violence against women began yesterday in La Paz, Bolivia, organized by the Inter-American Commission of Women (CIM), the Follow-Up Mechanism to the Belém do Pará Convention (MESECVI) of the OAS, along with ParlAmericas, with the support of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Justice of Bolivia and the Vice Ministry of Gender Equality. The aim is to discuss and validate a draft model law on political violence against women, in compliance with the agreements reached by CIM Executive Committee.

The event began yesterday with an inaugural session with opening remarks by Luz Patricia Mejía Guerrero, Technical Secretary of the MESECVI/OAS; Enrique Reina, OAS Representative of Bolivia and Virginia Velasco, Minister of Justice of Bolivia. It was followed by a roundtable discussion on the importance of legislation on political violence against women, in which Bolivian government officials and experts and deputies from several countries in the region: Argentina, Peru, Uruguay, Mexico, El Salvador and Costa Rica participated.

The Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Violence against Women, known as the Belém do Pará Convention establishes States’ duty to harmonize their domestic legislation with the Convention to guarantee the rights established in the Convention and eliminate rules, practices and customs that exacerbate violence and discrimination against women.

By ratifying the Convention, States committed to take measures through their institutions to guarantee the rights of women enshrined in the Convention. The high rates of violence and political harassment affecting women in the region prompted the MESECVI to urge States Parties to enact laws on violence against women in public spheres such as politics.

Bolivia is the only country in the region that promulgated the Law on political violence and harassment against women in 2012. In other countries in the region, such as Costa Rica, Ecuador, Honduras, Mexico and Peru bills have been presented to be considered by their parliaments. The Declaration on Political Harassment and Violence against Women, adopted at the Sixth Conference of States Parties of the Belém do Pará Convention (Lima, Peru, October 2015), represents an important advance since it reflects States Parties’ regional consensus on the current situation, the definition of political violence and actions to prevent, punish and eradicate political violence against women.

The validation of a model law to eliminate political violence against women is essential for the region as it will lay the foundation to ensure the full exercise of the political rights of women, free from discrimination and violence.

Agenda and concept note of the Second Meeting of Experts

MESECVI is a systematic and permanent multilateral evaluation methodology that is based on exchange and technical cooperation between the States Party to the Convention and a Committee of Experts. 


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