International IDEA introduces #Protagonistas Campaign geared towards women candidates
The Organization of American States (OAS), the Inter-American Commission of Women (CIM), Bolivia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Plurinational Electoral Body (OEP) join forces with international aid agencies in order to train women candidates in electoral campaigns.
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The #Protagonistas: Parity – Power - Youth campaign, which has been spurred on by International IDEA and Coordinadora de la Mujer, with support from the Swedish Embassy, was presented to participants and to the team of experts who will impart the Curso para Candidatas Electorales “Remedios Loza,” a course intended for women candidates by CIM, and the School for Government of the OAS. It is the first time a high-level course of this kind is being held in Bolivia, and with technical and economic backing of International IDEA and other international aid organizations.
The course beginning on Monday, 12 August 2019 and running through to Friday, 16 August 2019 is being held in the Stannun Boutique hotel’s conference rooms in the city of La Paz. During the opening event, which was attended by authorities from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, International IDEA – as co-organizer – disclosed the objectives and characteristics of #Protagonistas, with particular emphasis on the fulfillment of women’s political rights and the inclusion of Bolivian youth among the political leaders.
Approximately 50 female deputies and senatorial candidates from various political organizations are taking part in the course. In accordance with the convocation, during registration priority was given to women belonging to groups traditionally excluded from politics, such as women from rural communities. The course is completely free, and in addition, provides grants to finance the cost of transport and accommodation of participants from the interior (i.e. outside La Paz).
According to CIM/OAS, the main objective of the course is to strengthen the participants’ skills in electoral matters, particularly in the area of political communications, the development of a political agenda, direction and electoral campaign organization, the administration of electoral budgets, negotiation and conflict resolution, women’s rights agenda and gender equality.
To develop the aforementioned content, a team of leading-edge educators in political skills arrived in Bolivia, including Virginia García, an expert in communications and political psychology and Ricardo Solari, the former head of communications of Michelle Bachelet's electoral campaign, among others.
María Fernanda Trigo, of the OAS School of Government, stressed that “achieving greater participation of women in politics is not simply a question of justice, it also strengthens a country’s governance and democratic institutions” as reported in a press bulletin of said organization.
This is the fifth edition of the course, which has already trained over 300 participants in countries such as Panama, Peru, Dominican Republic and others in the Americas, and for the first time on a nationwide scale in Bolivia. The course, whose participants also include several female representatives from International IDEA’s youth platform, is named “Remedios Loza”, in memory of the first indigenous woman to occupy a seat in Bolivia’s Chamber of Deputies.