Women promise to make history in Colombian Congress

Paloma Valencia, María Fernanda Carrascal, María del Mar Pizarro and María José Pizarro, senators from various political parties.

Paloma Valencia, María Fernanda Carrascal, María del Mar Pizarro and María José Pizarro, senators from various political parties.

Colombia’s new Congress is historic for several reasons. One of them is that women occupy more than 30% of the seats for the first time. Senators and representatives of various political parties in the House of Representatives represent a major force whose weight will be crucial in the debates that divide Capitol Hill over the next four years. To complete the balance sheet, they now expect the new government to keep its word and be egalitarian. Only then, some agree, will women’s issues finally be a central theme in the country’s memorandum. Although some believe he erred more. Democratic Center Senator Paloma Valencia is one of them. He says that Colombia will show its will to obtain equality between men and women until Colombia has a woman president. Now, she says, she aspires to get that seat and finish first in the 2016 election.

But it’s still too early to talk about the next presidential elections, and a lot will happen before the moment arrives when the senator delays showing up at the Casa de Nariño. The government of Gustavo Petro will hold a congress with an unprecedented female presence and even if not all will be on his side, as in the case of Paloma Valencia, it is historic. The female ticket in the Senate and the House is now 28.8%, 9.1% more than at the aforementioned meeting. Out of a total of 295 seats, 85 will be occupied by women, so there will be 30 more deputies.

Congress will be filled with new voices breaking out. One of them is that of María Fernanda Carrascal, representative of the Chamber of the Historical Pact. On July 20, the day of the inauguration of the Congress, he raised a sign that read: “Hey Iván, the right to a fetus exists”, he was referring to statements by President Iván Duque in which he defended the right to a fetus in Colombia , he denies. The fetus will be a key issue in this meeting after the Constitutional Court decriminalizes it until the week of February 24, after the decision, it is up to Congress, as a court, to make legislative decisions to increase the passage to fetus safe and regulate it recommended.

Some parliamentarians such as Carrascal and María José Pizarro assure that this issue is not only in their nature memorandum. It is a public health problem that deserves priority attention. “We will go ahead and implement fetal regulation. Congress cannot continue to evade the judgments of the Court, they are in the public memorandum and this is an essential question. This needs to be discussed,” says Pizarro.

The voice of women in Congress is not homogeneous, not even among politicians of the same party. María del Mar Pizarro (sister of María José Pizarro) just ran for the House of Representatives with the historic pact but admits she is not in favor of following the court’s audacity regarding the fetus. Share your opinion with the representatives of the competition to which the Democratic Center belongs. As a member of this party, Senator Valencia is also anti-abortion and clarifies that she does not describe herself as a feminist “in the leftist sense of the term”.

However, Valencia assures that he has a memorandum of a very broad nature and that he managed to reach agreements with his peers from other parties in the mentioned meeting on issues of great importance for women, such as the femicide law, which alludes to the fact that it is aimed at gender-based violence.

Congressional Quota Act

The number of women who will be present in Congress was an open account, since Colombia has a quota law that dictates that 30% of high public positions must be held by women. However, this has been repeatedly violated, especially in Parliament, where they have always been underrepresented.

For this reason, Colombia, by complying with the law for the first time and achieving the principle of 30% women in Congress, represents an important milestone highlighted by UN Women and the Presidential Council for the Equality of Women. “It’s the highest proportion of female members of Congress in history, which means more consideration is being given to the talent, looks and abilities of the part of the population. It means that the politics will be a little more consistent with sincerity, although there is still a long way to go to achieve the necessary parity,” said Bibiana Aído, representative of UN Women Colombia. For her part, the Presidential Council for the Women’s Equity pointed out that four springs ago there were four men for every woman in Congress, while for this period there will be one woman for every two men.

This time, women added 4,604,713 votes, while in 2018 they were almost in the majority, 2,521,497.

Members of Congress Character Memorandum

Senator María José Pizarro wins Congress with the most female votes. “It’s a big challenge,” he said in a phone interview. But we must not waste time. Pizarro will present the parity law and a complete health package for pregnant women in the coming weeks. Known as the 1,000-day law, the law aims to provide care for women during circumcision and the first months of their children’s lives. On the other hand, as part of her nature note, she also wants to present a law on indigenous midwives, as it exists for the Afro community, and a law on policies and sanctions against digital violence suffered by women in social networks.

The member recognizes that the representation of women who have a memorandum of nature in their programs is not sufficient. “With this new Congress, I hope we can fight bigger battles. My goal is for all invoices to have a nature component,” says Pizarro, who will also try to help women start businesses and provide benefits for companies that hire more women.

The competition, led by Paloma Valencia, has in its nature memorandum the law of heads of families, aimed at providing care and employment to women, and the state law with them, which it has implemented at the last meeting to help Colombian women in their daily chores through various programs offered by the government.

For her part, María Fernanda Carrascal will focus on the fight for the sexual and reproductive rights of women and trans women in Congress, and will also campaign for an equality law. María del Mar Pizarro is trying to charge to help women sign up like she did with her business.

This historic increase in the number of women in Congress places the country above the world average, which places 25.5% of women in all the parliaments of the world. In Latin America, this bill is 32.4%, so all members of Congress agree that there is still work to be done.

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