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Calling States and Municipalities Innovative on Gender Issues!

The fourth edition of the “Gobernante – Eduardo Campos Award” contest is now accepting applications! The prize awards subnational governments for initiatives that are innovative and effective, and that promote broad social inclusion in different aspects of development in the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean (see video here).

Entries for the contest must be submitted by October 15. This edition of the contest will recognize outstanding initiatives in two categories: prevention of and response to violence against women, and the promotion of women’s leadership and citizen participation. Awards will be given to two initiatives in each of these categories.

The contest is open to subnational entities (states, provinces, departments, regions, municipalities and any other subnational authority) from IDB borrowing member countries that contribute in a special way through their work to modernizing the State and benefiting civil society. In addition to the prize itself, the contest enables the IDB to promote and disseminate the exchange of good practices.

Prevention of and Response to Violence against Women

 According to a study by UN Women Caribbean, violence against women and girls is one of the most common forms of insecurity facing citizens in the Caribbean. In addition, in examining statistics in five Caribbean countries (The Bahamas, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago), the Global Study on Homicide (2011) by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime found a very high rate of murders: an average of 31 per 100,000 population versus the global average of 6.9 per 100,000 population. Among female homicide victims, 41% are women who were killed by a family member.

Violence against women is not only one of the pervasive human rights challenges, it also carries high costs that range from effects on physical and mental health to reduced reproduction. Violence against women is also a predictor of violence in a society.

Because of their proximity to the citizenry, subnational governments play an important role in preventing, reducing, and responding to violence against women. With this contest, the IDB recognizes the urgency of combating violence against women in the region as well as the important role that subnational governments can perform in guaranteeing the security of all citizens.

Women’s Leadership and Participation in Civic Life

Over recent decades, Latin America and the Caribbean have seen increasing participation of women in public office. At the municipal level, for example, the percentage of women mayors has doubled, from 6% in 1998 to 12% in 2015.

However, the incorporation of women into decision-making posts continues to proceed slowly, and their presence is still low, considering that women make up half the population. At the national level, for example, and in the specific case of the Caribbean, women hold only 18% of parliamentary seats.

Subnational governments play a key role in promoting the participation of women in participatory and decision-making processes. This contest marks the IDB’s recognition of the fundamental role that subnational governments can play in guaranteeing equal opportunities for women, so that both men and women alike can contribute to public policies and participate in the decisions of their communities.

Apply here: http://www.iadb.org/en/topics/government/gobernartesys/award-gobernarte-the-art-of-good-government,9734.html

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