IIHR Press Release on the occasion of International Women’s Day

Fecha: (3/11/2022 3:44:20 PM)

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March 8, International Women’s Day

San José, Costa Rica, March 8, 2022.

The Inter-American Institute of Human Rights joins in the global commemoration of International Women’s Day, which each year recalls the multiple transformations of society brought about by the mobilization of women fighting for their autonomy, the full control over their bodies and their sexuality, their economic Independence, their right to work and the respect for their private and public dignity.    

This day honors the activists who have led the way to substantial progress in the legal field, especially with respect to inter-American norms and jurisprudence as well as those on the domestic level. Nevertheless, many of our countries have experienced little legal, political, social, and cultural impact. The evidence demonstrates that challenges, such as the too few women who occupy the highest State positions, the salary gap that remains between men and women in private industry and the statistics on feminicide and its impunity continue to be shocking.

The pandemic of the past two years has proved once again how in emergency situations women who work as caretakers, who work under the harshest conditions of unemployment, marginalization and vulnerability are hit the hardest and those situations significantly increase the number of cases of violence against them.  

On this March 8, the IIHR reiterates its commitment to promote the rights of women, which is part of its academic mandate and of our education in human rights program. The Institute continues and will continue to contribute to the efforts that women deploy throughout the region on behalf of equality and the enjoyment of each right and opportunity, especially a life free of violence.  

Today, the Center for Electoral Promotion and Assistance (IIHR/CAPEL), which has historically promoted the political rights of women through research, publications and training, joins with the Association of Women Electoral Magistrates of the Americas, of which it is the Technical Secretariat, in launching the Web site ( and the Regional Observatory on Democratic Parity and Political Violence, a public good in the words of Cecilia Alemany, Deputy Regional Director of UN Women for the Americas and the Caribbean, a sponsor of this initiative, which will enable the systematization of information for studying the situation of the political-electoral rights of women and the formulation of proposals and their implementation to achieve democratic parity and a life free of violence for women politicians.  

In addition, a virtual diploma course was held on the “The role of electoral bodies in the prevention and approach to violence against women politicians,” the purpose of which was to contribute to the formation of high authorities, staff of electoral bodies, jurisdictional and administrative, so that they are able prevent and treat cases of political violence by applying the law and the international instruments that protect the political and electoral rights of women.

Furthermore, the “New Challenges of Human Rights: Promotion and Protection of the Right to a Healthy Environment and to Reproductive Health and its Defense in Central America” project, supported by the Swedish Embassy in Guatemala, has developed procedures of research, training, technical assistance, work in networks and information and communications to promote and protect the human right to the sexual and reproductive health of women and girls. This program, which was initiated in El Salvador, now seeks to broaden its reach to other countries of the region. A toolbox that includes an “Ethical guide for medical attention of women who have obstetrical emergencies” is available and it is hoped that it will be helpful to women and collectives in their demand for the free exercise of their sexual and reproductive rights.  

It is our wish that this be a day to honor all women who continue to mobilize from different areas and fields to demand the recognition of their rights, including defending those that are still at risk of being wrested away by anti-rights speeches and movements. The IIHR will continue to promote the right of women to live a life free of violence and to their realization as persons with equal opportunities and without discrimination of any kind.  

Joseph Thompson

Executive Director