Civil Society and Social Actors in Preparation for the 46° OAS General Assembly: Group on Women's Rights

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Civil Society and Social Actors in Preparation for the 46° OAS General Assembly: Group on Women's Rights

“Institutional Strengthening for Sustainable Development in the Americas”


The Section of Relations with Civil Society of the Secretariat for Access to Rights and Equity and the Department of Summits Follow-up welcome you to the Working Group on Women´s Rights of the Virtual Hemispheric Forum with Civil Society and Social Actors in preparation for the 46th regular session of the OAS General Assembly which will take place on June 13 - 15, 2016 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.  


  1. Encourage a negotiation process of the Draft Declaration of Santo Domingo that takes into account the perspective of the Group on Women’s Rights of civil society and other social actors.
  2. Facilitate the dialogue and exchange of experiences between a larger and more representative group of civil society organizations, social actors and workers in the hemisphere who work on the topic of Women’s Rights.
  3. Draft a document of recommendations from the perspective of the Group on Women’s Rights on the Draft Declaration of Santo Domingo to be submitted to the consideration of Member States in the CISC.
  4. Formulate questions that will be directed to the Secretary General of the OAS in the Dialogue that will be held in Santo Domingo.

This Working Group will be moderated by Catherine Pognat, of the Secretariat for Access to Rights and Equity. Mariette and Roberto will guide the discussion, respond to comments and provide support for the formulation of recommendations.


Recognition and respect for diversity: The participation of civil society entails the recognition of the legitimacy of diverse perspectives and interest regarding the subject that is being addressed.

Transparency and access to information: The objectives, scope, process and results of this Forum will be of public knowledge.

Additionally, the right to Freedom of Expression will be guaranteed: participants will have the right to express their positions and proposals freely, in a manner that is cordial, tolerant and respectful to other points of view. 


- Participants will have the opportunity to discuss, exchange experiences and issue recommendations on the Draft Declaration of the General Assembly.

Civil Society Organizations and social actors participating in this Forum should select one (1) working group that corresponds to the area your organization works on.

- The moderator will:

  • Direct and stimulate the discussions between participants.
  • Answer any question presented in the space.
  • Support the drafting of the document of recommendations. 
  • Collect the questions that the participants want to ask the Secretary General at the Conversation. 

The moderator will ensure that:

  • The recommendations on the Draft Declaration are constructive, to the point, and in relation to the contents of the Draft Declaration of the General Assembly.
  • The diversity of postures and opinions is faithfully reflected in the document.

- The methodology for the formulation of recommendations will also seek to ensure that:

  • All postures will be treated in the same manner.
  • As such, mechanism of consensus or vote that seek to favor some postures and silence others will not be used.
  • Positions expressed in the document will not be qualified as majority or minority positions.
cpognat's picture

~~~~Dear participants, welcome to the first Hemispheric  Virtual Forum with Civil Society, Social Actors and Workers in preparation for the 46th  regular session of the OAS General Assembly which will take place on June 13-15, 2016 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

My name is Catherine Pognat and I will be the moderator of this Working Group. I am responsible for OAS Relations with Civil Society and I have had the pleasure of working with this working group at different General Assemblies.  My role in this forum is to promote dialogue among participants and facilitate  the formulation of concrete recommendations about the draft Declaration of Santo Domingo: Institutional Strengthening for Sustainable Development in the Americas.   In order to start with the dialogue, I will invite you to review the Draft Declaration included in the Forum, and present some thoughts or comments.

Strengthening the women's rights paragraph

Dear Catherine,

Thank you for moderating this working group. I write on behalf of Dianova International.

We would like to add a suggestion for the women’s paragraph, aiming at strengthening the objectives of point 6 in relation to the SDGs, and at making its purpose more tangible.

Dianova’s suggestion for the Women’s Rights Working Group:


  1. Promote the formulation and implementation of public policies, strategies, and proposals to advance women’s human rights and gender equity and equality in all spheres of public and private life, and gender mainstreaming in public institutions. Encourage the participation of women in leadership positions and eliminate the persistence inequalities that prevent women from fully participating in decision-making processes in public and private administrations.

We truly appreciate OAS' efforts to include civil society in the debate and we join you in your determination to guarantee a meaningful document by the end of this process.  

Sincerely yours,

Saionara König-Reis

International Relations Manager at Dianova International

Centro de Derec...
Estimada Catherine,

Estimada Catherine,

Muchas gracias por la oportunidad de participar en este foro.  Adjunto algunas recomendaciones que hacemos a la Declaración de Santo Domingo desde el Centro de Derechos Reproductivos:

1. Agregar en la nota de pie de página que habla de los compromisos internacionales, los siguientes:

a. El Programa de Acción sobre la Conferencia Internacional sobre Población y Desarrollo del Cairo

b. La Declaración y Plataforma de Acción de Beijing

c. El Pacto Internacional de Derechos Económicos, Sociales y Culturales

d. El Consenso de Montevideo

e. Declaración Conjunta de expertos en Derechos Humanos de la ONU, la Relatora de los Derechos de la Mujer de la Comisión Interamericana de Derechos humanos, la Relatora Especial de los Derechos de la Mujer y Defensores de Derechos Humanos de la Comisión Africana de Derechos Humanos y de los Pueblos sobre la Agenda 2030 de Desarrollo Sostenible.

2. Creemos que la Declaración está solamente enfocada a Fortalecimiento Institucional y tenemos que tratar de incluir un enfoque de género en este marco de fortalecimiento.

3. En el artículo 3 del declarativo, agregar que dentro de la implementación de la Agenda 2030 y los objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible en las Américas 2030, se habla de “la importancia de la equidad de género y el empoderamiento de mujeres y niñas hacen una contribución crucial para el progreso entre todos los objetivos”

4. Apoyar la propuesta del artículo 5: Impulsar en los procesos de fortalecimiento institucional, el enfoque de derechos, incluyendo el respeto a los derechos humanos y sistemas de protección y promoción social con carácter universal, equitativo y no discriminatorio, que permita avanzar hacia sociedades pacíficas, justas e inclusivas para el Desarrollo Sostenible que tomen en consideración las necesidades de los grupos vulnerables.

5. Apoyar la propuesta del artículo 6:  Fomentar la formulación e implementación de políticas públicas, estrategias y acciones dirigidas a garantizar los derechos humanos de todas las mujeres y niñas, y la igualdad de género, el empoderamiento de la mujer en todas las esferas de la vida pública, así como la transversalización del enfoque de género en las instituciones y políticas públicas, como organizaciones internacionales y regionales y garantizar la participación plena de la mujer en igualdad de oportunidades de liderazgo en todos los niveles de la toma de decisiones, en la vida política, económica y pública.

Saludos muy cordiales,


Centro de Derechos Reproductivos


centro guadalupe
on the rights of women

The Guadalupe Center for Life and Family in Puerto Rico submits the following suggestion for inclusion in the document: "36. The rights of women derive from the human nature of women. The fertility of women must be respected, as well as her emotional and physical well-being. This means that abortion must not be decriminalized since it is constitutes an assault on women. In the case of pregnancy because of rape or with fetal deformation, women need to be accompanied and cared as well as her innocent unborn child. In the case of a pregnancy when a woman is told that her life is in danger, so also the life of her unborn child is in danger, and this is when advanced medical care must be provided to her and her unborn child. Abortion does not save the life of the mother. Abortion can cause physical harm to the woman; and will cause the woman to suffer from post abortion syndrome. In the case of a woman who is charged with the criminal offense of agreeing to abortion, the woman should not be penalized with incarceration since she is also a victim of abortion.

Draft Declaration

Estimada Catherine,

Como Directora Legal Regional de Women's Link Worldwide te quiero agradecer la oportunidad de participar en el foro. En general nos parece que la Declaración no recoge el espíritu de la nueva agenda de desarrollo, que entiende que los derechos humanos, y en particular los derechos humanos de las mujeres, están en el corazón de políticas que verdaderamente promuevan el desarrollo. A continuación encontrarás nuestras sugerencias de cómo llenar dicho vacío:

1. Agregar en el pie de página que habla de la base legal de la declaración, los 5 documentos de soft law sugeridos por el Centro de Derechos Reproductivos.

2. El el artículo declarativo 3 agregar: "asumir el firme compromiso con la implementación de la Agenda 2030 y los Objetivos de Desaarrollo Sostenible en las Américs, así como reafirmar el compromiso con a erradicación del hambre y a pobreza y la garantización de una vida sana,  combatiendo la mortalidad materna e infantil, y asegurando el acceso universal a servicios de salud sexual y reproductiva, la garantía de una educación inclusiva y equitativa, la igualdad de género y el empoderamiento de mujeres y niñas, a protección del medio ambiente y la gestión de riesgo de desastres". Lo anterior, para que la resolución recoja más fielmente los compromisos de la agenda de desarrollo, que tiene un componente de género muy fuerte que la resolucipon, en su estado actual, no refleja en lo absoluto. 

3. Agregar a la parte final del artículo declarativo 5: "Igualmente, fortalecer el sistema regional de protección de los derechos humanos".

4. Agregar a la parte final del artículo declarativo 6: "Dichas medidas deben contemplar la eliminación de toa ley, política y práctica discriminatoria contra la mujer".  

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