Mexico: Steps toward equal representation

 By Gabriela Ramírez

 Mexico, October (SEMlac). – There is a critical need to strengthen
 substantive, equal representation in the country, participants in a forum
 held at the National Electoral Institute (INE) indicated.

 Held last October 11-12, the event was organized by INE, the Electoral
 Court, UN Women, the National Women’s Institute, and the Prosecutor’s
 Office.

 Participants agreed to adopt legal reforms for substantive equality and
 horizontal/vertical parity, implement affirmative actions for women and
 young people, and criminalize political violence.

 They stressed that the political rights of women should not be limited to
 vote and should include violence-free settings.

 These new commitments were formally signed by Lorena Cruz, president of the
 Women’s Institute; Lorenzo Córdoba, counselor at INE; María Alanís, judge of
 the Electoral Court; Javier Bolaños, president of the Bureau of the House of
 Representatives; Santiago Nieto, head of the Special Prosecutor’s Office;
 and Ana Güezmes, UN Women representative in Mexico.

 Zero tolerance

 Cruz made a call not to tolerate political violence against women in the
 country.

 She underscored the urgent need to increase the number of women at municipal
 governments, workplaces, schools and communities.

 Bolaños indicated that civilian organizations should be actively involved in
 the struggle for parity.

 Alanís found it necessary to turn parity into a reality for local women.

 “Despite the progress made, there is still resistance to see women taking
 public positions,” she commented.

 Güezmes stressed that parity paves the way for equality.

 Parity, a serious issue

 “Parity helps promote women’s participation in political life and
 democracy,” said Carmen Moreno, executive secretary of the Inter-American
 Commission at the Organization of American States.

 “There is a regional consensus about political equality being governed by
 parity standards,” she remarked.

 “Parity has made it possible for women to account for 42 per cent of members
 of the House of Representatives,” she noted.

 Nieto highlighted the need for authorities to see parity as an overriding
 principle.

 Constancio Carrasco, president of the Electoral Court, said that the
 struggle for women’s rights has been hard and long.

 Marcela Eternod, executive secretary of the Women’s Institute, concluded
 that women’s talent should not be wasted.

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