Parlatino approves regional law to advance Parity Democracy with support of UN Women

Date: Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Panama City

The Latin American and the Caribbean Parliament (Parlatino), approved the legal framework to advance “parity democracy” in the region on 1 December, during its 2015 General Assembly. This law will become a reference tool for national parliaments in the implementation of institutional reforms and policies to promote and ensure substantive equality between women and men in all decision-making spheres across the region.

The recently approved regional law is intended to become a key tool for establishing a new social contract to eliminate any exclusion against women and girls, and to promote co-responsibility in all decisions that will affect their lives. “It’s a holistic concept that transcends the merely political,” said Luiza Carvalho, UN Women Regional Director for the Americas and the Caribbean. “We are facing an opportunity to decide on the State model that we want for our region, especially at a moment when we have just adopted the new Sustainable Development Goals for the next 15 years.”

The regional law states that the construction of substantive equality and parity requires an inter-sectoral commitment, strong political will and the allocation of the necessary financial resources.

The regional law is the result of a process initiated by the Parlatino with the 2013 resolution, which recommended the development of a regional framework to promote parity democracy. The basis of this text originated at a Parliamentary Meeting on Parity Democracy in December 2014, which yielded recommendations for how to achieve parity, the ‘inclusive State’, political violence, and the role of the political parties, media and women leaders. This law has the technical and political support of UN Women.

The law is structured into five chapters: Parity Democracy as a goal for States; Inclusive and Responsible State; Parity Democracy Representation; Parity Democracy, Political Parties, Political Movements and Independent Candidates; and the final recommendations which reflect the objective, purpose and content of the regional law and provides guidelines for its implementation.

"This initiative positions our organization at the forefront of democracies, as it aims to be the reference point and orientation that will guide States towards a more just and inclusive society, a society in equal democracy," said the Mexican Senator and President of Parlatino, Blanca Alcalá.

Meanwhile, Irune Aguirrezábal, UN Women Regional Advisor for Political Participation and Leadership said that "UN Women will continue to support the work of Parlatino to ensure that this regional law fulfills its guiding and awareness purpose through parliamentary debates, so that it can generate the outstanding transformations to ensure substantive equality at all levels, local and national.”

The adoption of the regional law coincides with the recent approval by Member States of the Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals within the framework of the 70th United Nations General Assembly. The new Agenda prioritizes gender equality and the empowerment of women as an essential condition to achieve sustainable development, democracy and peace by adopting a specific objective to include gender mainstreaming in the other objectives of the new framework.

Read the regional law.