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In 2007 a small group of distinguished women political leaders from Latin America, the Caribbean and the United States met at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, for a roundtable discussion on the dramatic advances achieved by women seeking public office in the past ten years—and the challenges currently facing women in electoral politics. The conference, Women in the Americas: Paths to Political Power, was co-sponsored by the League of Women Voters of the United States, PROLEAD of the Inter-American Development Bank, the Inter-American Dialogue, and the Organization of American States Summits of the Americas Secretariat.
The conference had two purposes. First, to assess the dramatic advances achieved by women seeking public office and national leadership positions in Latin America and the Caribbean, and second, to draw on their experience to develop a set of recommendations for governments, international agencies, corporations, and civil society groups on how to increase the number of women in public leadership posts and enhance their effectiveness.
The conference was hosted by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Representatives Jo Ann Emerson (R-MO), Kay Granger (R-TX), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Loretta Sanchez (D-CA), Jean Schmidt (R-OH), Hilda Solis (D-CA) and Jerry Weller (R-IL). Ten women leaders from Latin America and the Caribbean attending including Billie Miller (Barbados); Beatriz Paredes (Mexico); Marta Lucia Ramirez (Colombia); Maria Antonieta Saa (Chile); Olga Ferreira de Lopez (Paraguay); Epsy Campbell Barr (Costa Rica); Dayana Martinez Burke (Honduras); and Nemecia Achacollo Tola (Bolivia).
The discussion continued in the afternoon at a session moderated by Washington Post columnist, Marcela Sánchez and attended by other members of the press community.This segment of the conference was held at the Inter-American Development Bank, Enrique Iglesias Auditorium (EVI), 1330 New York Ave, NW, Washington, DC.