Historical and structural gender discrimination against women is rooted in the societies of the countries that make up our region. This means that women, girls and adolescents continue to face violence and discrimination against them. Although some countries in the region have been making concrete efforts to protect women’s rights, these have not been enough. Indeed, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) recognized the existence of “violence, structural and endemic discrimination” which prevents women and girls’ human rights from being fully respected. Specifically, women suffer acts of violence on a daily basis, either directly (such as murders, disappearances, harassment and sexual violence – which is aggravated by the obstacles they face in accessing justice) as well as indirectly. Women also encounter obstacles to accessing education, employment and reproductive and sexual health services, among others.
The foregoing is aggravated by the intersectional violence suffered by certain groups, such as the case of Afro-descendant women who not only suffer from the existing gender violence on the continent, but also because of their identity and race.
Our work for women
Race and Equality has focused its work to:
- Promote the effective participation of women’s civil society organizations and activists at the Organization of American States (OAS). To this end, we provide assistance and tools so that women can access the mechanisms granted by the OAS, as well as promote their participation in areas where they can raise their voices and tell their reality, including at the Summit of the Americas and the OAS General Assembly. In particular, we promote working with the IACHR and its thematic Rapporteurships.
- Promote the effective participation of civil society organizations made up of women and/or that work for the protection and respect of women’s rights before the United Nations (UN). To this end, we conduct training on the Universal Human Rights System and promote participation in UN Special Procedures and Committees. Likewise, we accompany our partners in the country review processes so that they can make their reality visible by interacting with the United Nations.
- Inform about the situation of women in the region through their testimonies.
- Promote research and documentation that highlight the realities experienced by women in the region.