Image credit: Plurinational Electoral Body, Bolivia
The 2nd Conference of the Association of Electoral Magistrates of the Americas (AMEA) convened on 11 and 12 October 2018 in the city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, with the participation of 13 countries of the region, organized by the Plurinational Electoral Body (OEP) of Bolivia.
Este artículo está disponible en español.
At the inauguration, Katia Uriona, President of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) of Bolivia, highlighted, among the expected results, the possibility of having a status report on the progress, obstacles and challenges faced by Parity and Intercultural Democracy in the region and the problem of political harassment and violence, from a jurisdictional perspective in the electoral instances, on the one hand, and on the other, advance in the establishment of a work agenda and joint strategies at the regional level for the implementation of a Regional Observatory to monitor the exercise of women's political rights by electoral bodies, which define indicators and produce information, so that progressively there is comparative data at a regional level that give greater support to the initiatives that can be deployed in this field.
Alfonso Ferrufino, representative of International IDEA, praised the institutional restructuring work carried out by the OEP of Bolivia—with the strong support of the Swedish government, the Spanish Cooperation and the European Union, coordinated by International IDEA—as well as the important advances that have been achieved in the areas of parity and intercultural democracy in this country. He emphasized the important role that electoral bodies can play in promoting and strengthening democratic quality systems.
The event addressed four thematic axes:
- scope and challenges to deepen parity democracy from a perspective of development of jurisprudence in the electoral instances of the region;
- participation of indigenous and Afro-descendant women in intercultural and parity democracy;
- electoral bodies faced with the problem of political harassment and violence against women; and
- definition of agreements and work plan of the Association of Electoral Magistrates of the Americas.
During the two days there were three keynote lectures with the participation of international experts: The first, on Parliamentary Democracy, was in charge of Line Bareiro of Paraguay; Carmen Moreno, from Mexico, spoke about Harassment and Political Violence against women and Otilia Lux, from Guatemala, Maya K'iche woman, presented a paper on the political participation of indigenous and Afro-descendant women.
On these three keynotes, work panels were developed, in which the participating electoral magistrates analyzed the problem from their different experiences, feeding a broad, deep and fruitful debate. They addressed issues that go through state policies, specific legislation regarding women's political rights, gender inequalities and inequities, harassment and political violence, among others, from a multidimensional perspective that can undoubtedly contribute significantly to the strengthening of democracies in Latin America and the Caribbean.
In conclusion, all participants in the Conference expressed their satisfaction that the objectives of the event were widely fulfilled.
Bolivia assumes the presidency of the AMEB and promotes the debate on the Parity and Intercultural Democracy
Finally, at the Assembly of the AMEB that took place after the Conference, Katia Uriona was inaugurated as President of the Association for the 2018-2019 administration.