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07/12/2023
Seminar "Gender-based political violence: progress and challenges in Latin America"

Within the framework of the act of Transfer of the Presidency of the Initiative to Prevent and Eliminate Violence against Women from the Ministry of Women of the Dominican Republic to the Ministry of Equality of Spain, among other internal activities, it was carried out on Friday, June, the Seminar "Political Violence due to Gender: Advances and challenges in Ibero-America". This activity intended to create a space for dialogue and promote action on a key issue for the advancement of gender equality in Ibero-America, conceptualizing political violence as a public problem and making visible the barriers that today continue to violate women's rights: limiting full autonomy and participation, under conditions of equality, in public and political spheres.   

The Initiative has carried out this Seminar seeking to advance towards: 1) a conceptual approach to political violence, visualizing the legislative and public policy efforts in general, carried out by States and organizations in the Ibero-American region to act against it and ; 2) an approach around the manifestations, incidence and consequences of political violence on the lives of women. 

This substantive activity was part of the implementation of the actions framed in the second year of execution of the Initiative, thus reaffirming the commitment to promote the development and strengthening of public policies and comprehensive laws for the eradication of violence against women in the Ibero-American community, contributing to one of its results: generating innovative knowledge about violence against women, its magnitude, its causes and effects.

The authorities of the different member countries and guests of the Initiative and Country Representative (REPPI) participated; representatives of the mechanisms for the advancement of women in Ibero-America; authorities of international and Ibero-American organizations and agencies; experts in the field of violence against women and local women's and feminist organizations.

Said seminar was organized in 3 panels, with the participation of authorities from the Dominican Republic, Spain and Mexico; experts in the field from international organizations; and the REPPI of the Initiative. 

1. Political violence based on gender: a regional perspective

2. Approaches: impacts and consequences of political violence in the lives of women

3. Legislative advances and public policies in the region: Ibero-American experiences

The closure was in charge of the Government Delegate against Gender Violence of Spain, Mª Victoria Rosell Aguilar, and the Director of Mainstreaming for Equality of the Ministry for Women of the Dominican Republic, Rosa Matos. 

For her part, the Government Delegate against Gender Violence of Spain emphasized the meaning of the Initiative as a mechanism to reinforce the Ibero-American link, reinforce the Ibero-American feminist networks that are solid and exciting, and to put the feminist agenda and against sexist violence at the heart of the countries' commitments. 

He especially celebrated the diversity of women committed in one way or another to the Initiative and highlighted the importance of each one in facing reactionary global challenges: politicians, public workers, international organizations, civil society, experts and human rights defenders. In turn, he stressed the importance of turning the express commitment of the countries into something tangible and endowed with resources, professionals, technicians and spaces to deploy. 

To close his speech, Rosell mentioned the commitment of Spain, specifically the Government Delegation against Gender Violence, as the body that assumes the Presidency of the Initiative, not only in economic terms but also as a driving force for the adoption of an agenda that allows common actions between the different territories. Finally, she emphasized the need to work on cooperation networks, remaining united in the face of any form of violence against women. He warmly thanked the Dominican Republic; to the Ibero-American General Secretariat (SEGIB) for this solid commitment to equality in the region; and to all States party to it.  

Regarding the intervention of the Director of Mainstreaming for Equality of the Ministry for Women of the Dominican Republic, this focused on the reflections and lessons learned from the Seminar, especially the progress of some countries in terms of regulations on political violence and parity. of gender in political participation and shared the progress of the Dominican Republic in terms of the legislative agenda for gender equality. He stressed the need for the norms to be precise in their conceptualization of what gender political violence is so that it is differentiated from the violence that is frequently exercised in politics and that the political parties themselves be the first filter to prevent it; that clear actions to punish the perpetrators and reparation for the victims be defined and that alliances be generated between women from all political groups to pressure their management teams to recognize the differentiated situation that women politicians experience and that tends to limit their access to the tops of the pyramid of power. Likewise, she pointed out the need to have a broad view of women, in all their racial, socioeconomic diversity, sexual orientation and disability situation, among other intersectionalities. 

In turn, she recalled the heartbreaking cases of women who have experienced physical and sexual violence and who in some cases have lost their lives, emphasizing that the efforts and the struggle must be dedicated to them, to those who preceded them and to all those who they come later. 

Finally, he emphasized the framework for action and reflection that allows the Ibero-American Initiative as a regional platform on which to continue enriching the exchanges and contributions to the management of the States. Especially around those forms of violence that are less visible and that women continue to face. In the case of political violence, as a historical consequence of questioning the public sphere at all levels, modifying the dynamics of power and the hegemonic representation for decision-making, decisions that impact citizenship and the quality of life of women. 

To close, he encouraged all the efforts that the different mechanisms for the advancement of women can generate in an articulated and sustained manner, in order to continue promoting democracies to guarantee participatory spaces in fact and in law, and fundamentally, that they be spaces free of all forms of discrimination and violence. Lastly, Matos greeted all the authorities and representations of the different countries that attended the meeting; to the panelists who shared their knowledge and experiences, thanking them for selecting this problem as the central axis of the Seminar; to the Ministry of Equality of Spain, and to the Technical Secretariat of the Initiative, for the coordination carried out to carry out the event, receiving us at home with such warm attention.