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Second Meeting of Women Representatives of the Differential Focus on Gender

Fecha: (5/17/2016 11:22:51 AM)

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Bogotá, Colombia. The Second Meeting of the Women Representatives of the Differential Focus in the Departmental Groups for the Effective Participation of the Victims was held April 27-30, 2016.  This activity terminated the project on “Strengthening and qualification of the participation of women in the activities and mechanisms of participation under the Law of Victims 1448 ”.  

The objectives of the Second Meeting were to share experiences; plan for the incorporation and strengthening of the differential focus on gender in the Departmental groups of the Capital and evaluate the introductory pedogogical module on human rights training and other topics .

There was a discussion of the different points of their struggles and the role that they have had in the recognition of their rights. Among those points, the need to strengthen their political empowerment, to open new spaces in the region due to their work; the personal, social and political difficulties and costs of their participation, which will be very important in the post-conflict and thus should be included in the debates, the problems, solutions and practices that should be shared, and the need to pass along what they have learned to other victims in their municipalities and Departments .

For its part, the IIHR emphasized the need to develop a proposal to strengthen the women of the Departmental groups with the idea of incorporating the perspective of women’s rights, given the experience gained by the representatives during the project .

General evaluation of the project

The process consisted of disseminating introductory pedagogical materials on human rights, the participation and political impact with the representatives of the differential focus on gender of the Departamental and district groups of victims as a result of the initial training that was repeated in subsequent workshops .  

In spite of the difficulties (insufficient economic resources, lack of guarantees and support of national and territorial institutions for the participation and problems of security of the members of the group), the following achievements are worthy of mention: the personal enrichment from the experiences of the women trainers; the overcoming of obstacles, the gaining of confidence and synergy with respect to other women and institutions; the attendance of women who had never participated in training on their rights; the knowledge gained regarding the focus on gender in the municipalities by the representatives; the participation of persons and collectives normally excluded; the impact on the formulation of plans of development and in other areas (national and local); the introduction of new topics; the incorporation of the topic of gender and women’s rights in municipal plans of action, and the recognition of their leadership and worth because of what they have already achieved .

The project dealt with organizing, managing and coordinating networks of civil society organizations and non-State bodies, drafting and implementing objectives, using the credibility of being a victim, which influences the work of other victims, new topics (road maps, special laws) and new methodologies, the need for physical and psychological protective measures, self-care, making their own materials, as well as the empowerment and management of public appearances .

Among the regional differences was the fact that there is little institutional support  and a need for more training in the Andean region; in addition to the problems of security and health in the Caribbean region, there is that of discrimination; in the Pacific region, there is a complex problem of public order and violence against women; and in the Orinoquía-Amazonia, there is no institutional support and little help when there is a violation of their rights .

In finishing the project, which had a healing element and which had an emotional impact due to its dynamics and information on the history of the struggles of women- because of the need to continue to respond, the participants proposed disseminating what they had learned to women’s organizataions, building networks and proposing projects in various municipalities; informing themselves better regarding the territories, createing synergies with other women and continuing to assume power. They also made suggestions to overome the difficulties .

The implementation of this successful project was the responsibility of the IIHR academic team in Colombia, comprised of Carlos Mendieta (Coordinator) and Henry Velandia Chegwin and who had the support of the IIHR Office staff. 

This project was made possible by the agreement of cooperation between the IIHR Office in Colombia and UN Women, with the support of the Office of the Rights of Women and Matters of Gender of the Office of the Ombudsman .

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