The 19th Conference of the International Observatory on Participatory Democracy (IOPD) was held in Iztapalapa, Mexico City, from 7 to 10 December. It is one of the most important conferences on participatory democracy, whose goal is to reflect on the concept of democracy, the exercise of rights of the citizens, and the implementation of policies and initiatives motivated by different governmental and organized civil society actors, for the construction of more human, fair, and supportive societies.
The meeting was organized under the premise of promoting cooperation frameworks between governments and international organizations, in the face of the challenges in the exercise of rights of the citizens of our metropolises. The event relied on participants of metropolitan governments, Metropolis’ members such as: Montevideo, La Paz, Medellín, Córdoba, the New Taipei City Government, the Barcelona City Council, Mexico City, Puebla, Guadalajara, Montréal, the Brussels-Capital Region, and Lisbon.
Within this framework, on Sunday 8 December, the Secretariat General of Metropolis participated as a speaker in the session “Co-creating public policies for women’s rights: violence, public space and equality” together with the Government of Mexico City and its representative, Ms. Yazmin Pérez Haro, from the General Direction of Substantive Equality of the Women’s Secretariat.
In this way, the session revolved around the presentation of different participatory initiatives for the construction of a public space free of sexual violence against women and girls in which Ms. Pérez Haro highlighted the demand to include women in the processes of participation to achieve equality. “The exercise of Participatory Democracy in our policies cannot be the exception: They must be a guideline for all of our actions, also in the issues of substantive equality between women and men”, an idea that she reinforced at the end of her intervention with the need to make the absent voices visible “In our agenda to move forward Women’s Rights we know that we are not alone: The contribution of the civil society is key. We bet on participation because it allows all voices and women to be represented”.
Finally, the head for the project Metropolis Women, Ms. Silvia Llorente, stated: “As a network of large cities and metropolitan areas, our members have positioned themselves to move forward in terms of gender equality and Women’s Rights by implementing policies for the construction of the full right to the city, a metropolitan city with streets, parks, and public transport free of sexual violence against women and girls”.