Participatory Meeting of Women's Organizations from Latin America and the Caribbean

On Thursday, June 22, 2023, the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) partnered with Equality Now and Red Salud de las Mujeres Latinoamericanas y del Caribe to organize a side event during the Organization of American States’ General Assembly.

The meeting aimed to:

  • Increase access to resources and advocacy strategies for women’s rights organizations.
  • Build relationships between women’s rights organizations from Latin America and the Caribbean and key U.S.-based organizations and institutions.

Opening: Self-Care Exercise

Clara Elena Cardona from Red Salud opened the meeting with a self-care exercise and invited participants to engage in breathing and movement exercises. Self-care encompasses a range of activities and practices that promote physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Engaging in self-care can help individuals recharge, reduce stress, and improve overall health.

Historically, women have been socialized to prioritize the needs of others over their own, often neglecting their own well-being in the process. Self-care, therefore, becomes a powerful tool in disrupting these societal norms. Moreover, self-care is essential for sustaining activism and social justice work. Feminist movements often demand significant emotional labor and can be emotionally draining.

Analysis Panel

Women leaders from Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Peru shared the stories of women from their communities to showcase their organizational work. The speakers also expressed concerns about a context of conservative backlash against women’s rights and the erosion of democracy in several countries. They also presented experiences and strategies for defending and protecting women and girls and for influencing policies and laws regarding women’s rights in their countries and the whole region.

The panel was important to elevate and amplify the voices of Latin American women’s rights defenders and build relationships with key U.S. partners and funders.

  • Rosa Celorio, an Associate Dean and Professor at George Washington University who worked for over a decade in the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights, provided recommendations and concrete advocacy tips to women’s human rights organizations. U.S.-based organizations and institutions then shared funding opportunities and technical resources – such as free courses and open calls – available to them. As a result, the 35 participants strengthened their networks and exchanged key information on strategies and resources to improve their advocacy.

This event is part of PADF’s efforts to amplify the voices of women-led Latin American and Caribbean organizations and strengthen their networks.


  • PADF believes in creating a hemisphere of opportunity, for all. We work across Latin America and the Caribbean to make our region stronger — more healthy, peaceful, just, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable for current and future generations.
  • Equality Now is a feminist organization using the law to protect and promote the rights of all women and girls. In the Americas, they are focused on the elimination of sexual violence.
  • Red Salud de las Mujeres Latinoamericanas y del Caribe is a network of organizations and individuals promoting health and the exercise of women’s rights and citizenship using a feminist perspective.

U.S.-based participants included representatives from the U.S. Department of State, National Democratic Institute (NDI), Inter-American Foundation (IAF), Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), Hispanics in Philanthropy, and Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL).

Latin American participants included representatives from women’s organizations from Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Peru.

Published on July 10, 2023.

Laura Aragon

Laura Aragón

Director – Women and Gender


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