Bolivia will host the 1st International Meeting of Female Mayors for Health, Well-being, and Equity.

encuentro Alcaldesas Bolivia

La Paz, Bolivia, May 13, 2024 (OPS) - Female mayors from the Americas region and representatives from some Spanish municipalities committed to the Healthy Municipalities, Cities, and Communities (HMCC) Movement, driven by the Pan American Health Organization, will share experiences regarding health policies for well-being. 

The theme that brings them together in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, from May 16 to 17, 2024, is local governance for health, well-being, equity in health, and women's leadership in local politics. 

This event is organized by the Association of Female Councilors and Mayors of Bolivia (ACOBOL) with the support of the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO Bolivia) and the government of Canada, in the context of the "Improved Health of Women and Adolescent Girls in Situations of Vulnerability" Project. 

The 1st International Meeting of Female Mayors aims to provide a space for meeting, dialogue, and networking of female mayors, focusing on political participation and governance for health and well-being, through the exchange of experiences that promote the localization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda, to advance towards the construction of healthy municipalities and well-being. 

Additionally, this high-level event responds to the commitments adopted by countries in the implementation of the Strategy and Action Plan on Health Promotion in the Context of the Sustainable Development Goals 2019-2030 and the Policy to Recover Progress towards Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals with Equity through measures addressing the social determinants of health and intersectoral Work. 

This meeting is part of the work towards the consolidation of healthy municipalities and well-being, emphasizing the importance of the role of local governments in promoting health, well-being, and equity in their municipal management and networking. Likewise, it seeks to strengthen and position women's leadership in municipal management, promote gender equality, and facilitate the exchange of experiences and results of policies related to the promotion of health, well-being, and equity at the local level.  

The Healthy Municipalities, Cities and Communities (HMCC) Movement of the Americas is a regional platform of local governments with over 30 years of development, including municipalities, mayors' offices, cantons, cities, communes, and communities. The Movement promotes strategic cooperation among committed mayors around a common regional vision to promote the health, well-being, and equity of their populations.

Given its comprehensive and integrative approach, the Movement serves as a platform where various health initiatives are implemented synergistically at the local level, including existing networks in the countries of the region, offering a great opportunity for the construction of strategic alliances.

The organizing entity, the Association of Female Councilors, and Mayors of Bolivia (ACOBOL), is a representative body of mayors and councilors from across the Plurinational State of Bolivia, whose work aligns with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

In the Americas, women's political participation has historically been underrepresented, especially at the local government levels. Despite advances in terms of recognizing rights and opportunities for women, the gender gap persists, reflected in the low presence of women in municipal leadership positions.  

The event taking place in Bolivia is part of a series of actions within the Regional HMCC Movement that will highlight the leadership of female mayors in promoting health and their value as role models, but will also address the significant challenges that women in positions of power face, including political violence due to gender reasons. The event will feature five panels for discussion and exchange of experiences.

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), established in 1902, is the oldest international public health organization in the world. It works with its member countries to improve the health and quality of life of the peoples of the Americas. It also serves as the Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization (WHO). 

The Association of Female Councillors and Mayors of Bolivia (ACOBOL) is the national entity representing Female Councilors and Mayors of the country, an integral part of the Municipal Associative System. Since its creation on August 13, 1999, it has become an associative body whose role and purpose have been directly and actively related to the promotion and political positioning of women in the municipal sphere.