Plataforma CIPÓ, the Ministry of Women, Club de Madrid, and the Women’s Secretariat of the Chamber of Deputies, coordinated by Federal Deputy Benedita da Silva (PT-RJ), convened various authorities last Tuesday (13/11) at the Palácio do Planalto in Brasília to discuss gender equality in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The event “Women in Power,” orchestrated by Federal Deputy Jack Rocha (PT-ES), had as its guest of honor the First Lady of Brazil, Janja Lula da Silva, and the distinguished presence of former Heads of State, including Michelle Bachelet, former President of Chile.
The panel and audience included ministers Cida Gonçalves, of Women, and Marina Silva, of the Environment and Climate Change, former President of Costa Rica Laura Chinchilla, former Prime Minister of Senegal Aminata Touré, Vice-Governor of the Federal District Celina Leão, Allyson Maynard-Gibson, Advisor to the Club de Madrid, Minister Edilene Lôbo of the Superior Electoral Court (TSE), ambassadors, and representatives from the government and civil society organizations.
“We want gender equality now, not in 300 years, as the UN (United Nations) and statistics show it would take at the current pace,” stated CIPÓ’s executive director, Maiara Folly, the first to speak at the event. She emphasized that women in positions of power face barriers that men do not.
The first black senator in the country and the first black governor of Rio de Janeiro, Benedita, emphasized that women’s participation in politics is crucial to achieving these goals. “Advocating for more women in parliament is not just numerical justice. It is an essential step toward building a more egalitarian society.”
Janja stated that, in her current position, she faces sexism and misogyny in various forms. “I am a woman who has always been involved in political and social issues. I am vocal about these issues both at home and in my activities,” she said. “My voice can amplify and echo many other voices and messages.”
According to Michelle Bachelet, who also served as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, it is essential for women to be part of decision-making. “We don’t need to empower women. Women are powerful enough. What we need is to include them and, in some cases, perhaps support them, support their leadership.”
Minister Cida Gonçalves advocated for the goal of having at least one woman in politics per municipality. “The challenge presented to us in Brazil is to elect, at the very least, one female councilor in each municipality in Brazil.
“The aim of the meeting was to outline strategies for implementing Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5 of the UN, related to gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.