- An event held at Casa de America in Madrid was organized as part of International Women’s Day and explored how to work toward a more just, equitable future in Latin America and the Caribbean.
- Recently, a Memorandum of Understanding formalized cooperation between Spain’s Ministry of Justice and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
- Event participants included Spain’s Minister of Justice, Pilar Llop; IDB Chief of Staff and Chief Strategy Officer, Jessica Bedoya; Prosecutor from the Office of the Public Prosecutor for Violence against Women, Teresa Peramato Martin; Magistrate of the Superior Council of the Judiciary of Colombia, Gloria Stella López; and the Director of Casa de America, Enrique Ojeda.
MADRID – An event titled Towards a Future of Justice and Gender Equality was organized by Spain’s Ministry of Justice, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and Casa de America at the latter’s headquarters in Madrid. During the event, speakers highlighted the link between justice and gender equality and opportunities for working collaboratively to drive progress in both areas. Specifically, participants explored the greatest obstacles Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) faces in terms of justice and gender equality, opportunities for overcoming them, and concrete action steps that can help ensure a more just and equitable future.
The event began with opening remarks from Casa de America Director Enrique Ojeda, who kicked off a debate between Spain’s Minister of Justice, Pilar Llop; IDB Chief of Staff and Chief Strategy Officer, Jessica Bedoya; the Prosecutor from the Office of the Public Prosecutor for Violence against Women in Spain, Teresa Peramato Martin; and the Magistrate of the Superior Council of the Judiciary of Colombia, Gloria Stella López. The discussion was moderated by the journalist Violeta Molina.
This dialogue was part of the organizations’ commemoration of International Women’s Day and reflects the IDB’s strong commitment to gender and diversity, institutional capacity, and the rule of law. These topics are priorities under the IDB’s institutional strategy and central pillars of Vision 2025: Reinvest in the Americas, the IDB’s agenda for reigniting economic growth and recovery in LAC.
This conversation is highly relevant to the LAC region, which suffers from the highest homicide rate in the world and where women in particular are victims of this violence. Women’s empowerment remains an important challenge in the region, with gender inequality representing a continued obstacle to economic growth and social wellbeing.
“Opportunities abound when efforts to advance justice adopt a gender perspective that can, in turn, promote greater equality in the labor market, in health, in education, and in decisionmaking that improves not only justice, but also outcomes in other sectors,” remarked Jessica Bedoya, Chief of Staff and Chief Strategy Officer at the IDB.
In her remarks, the Minister of Justice indicated that more than 250,000 people are employed in the judiciary branch and that, “Though most of us are women, this majority is not reflected in leadership positions. For nearly 20 years, more women than men have embarked on careers in the justice sector, comprising as much as 70% of employees. However, women stagnate as they reach higher ranks. They have represented the majority in the judiciary since 2010". The minister added that "this is the case in the courts of first instance, but the tendency is reversed once they reach the superior courts, where the number of men is greater". To address this trend, Llop highlighted the approval of a Common Framework of Equality for men and women at the administration of justice.
Casa de America Director Enrique Ojeda added “It is essential to discuss the participation of women in leadership positions, glass ceilings, decision making in judicial institutions, and the incorporation of a gender perspective in the design of public policies in the justice space”.
The event builds on the strong partnerships between the IDB, the Spanish Ministry of Justice, and Casa de America. In November 2021, Minister Llop and Mauricio Claver-Carone, President of the IDB, signed a Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen cooperation between their institutions, improve the management and quality of judicial systems, and accelerate the digitalization of judicial processes being carried out by countries in the region. At the same time, the IDB and Casa de America have joined forces to organize enriching dialogues and events exploring topics including sustainable tourism and economic recovery, digital connectivity, and the cooperation between Spain and the IDB.
About the IDB
The Inter-American Development Bank is devoted to improving lives. Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB also conducts cutting-edge research and provides policy advice, technical assistance and training to public and private sector clients throughout the region.
About the Spanish Ministry of Justice
The Ministry of Justice works to transform justice into an agile, efficient, accessible public service that is close to citizens and prioritizes people. It does so through projects including the Justice 2030 plan, which is based on three laws: the procedural efficiency law and the organizational efficiency law, which strive to address the organizational, procedural, and structural needs of justice administration; and the digital efficiency law, which aims to establish a legal framework that facilitates and promotes digitalization.
About Casa de América
Casa de América is a public institution that aims to strengthen ties between Spain and the American continent, especially Latin America. It organizes seminars, colloquiums, book presentations, concerts, and film screenings. Government officials from both sides of the Atlantic, diplomats, companies, representatives of the cultural and academic world and institutions participate in its events, which are open to the public.