Women in Local Power Declare to Advance Towards Healthy Municipalities and Wellbeing

1er encuentro internacional de alcaldesas

Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, May 20, 2024 (PAHO) - Women Mayors from the Americas region, gathered in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, within the framework of the First International Meeting of Women Mayors, signed a declaration where they committed to advance towards healthy municipalities and wellbeing. 

After two days of discussions and sharing experiences, mayors from Colombia, Ecuador, Chile, Honduras, Mexico, and Peru, along with more than 24 Bolivian mayors and invited officials from the Spanish local government, endorsed the Santa Cruz de la Sierra Declaration. This declaration pledges to "recognize and promote the active and equitable participation of women in local management, ensuring their representation in all decision-making processes."

The event focused on recognizing the crucial role of local governments and mayoral leadership in promoting health, wellbeing, and equity for individuals, families, and communities. It also emphasized that health is a fundamental human right and a vital resource for economic and social development.

Therefore, they committed to "promote sustainable economic development" in their municipalities, recognizing "the value of caregiving as an economic driver and promoting policies that foster gender equity in access to economic opportunities."

The declaration states that they are committed to "promote inclusive and participatory local governance, involving all stakeholders in decision-making related to the health and wellbeing of the community,"  The Mayors expressed their commitment to "strengthen collaboration among our municipalities to promote policies and programs that improve the health and wellbeing of our communities, within the framework of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development."

Finally, the event's final declaration document states that the signatories commit to: "Contributing our leadership and experience to the Regional Movement of Healthy Municipalities, Cities, and Communities of the Americas and its Thematic Commission of Women Mayors for Healthy Municipalities."

The Declaration values the platform known as the Regional Movement of Healthy Municipalities, Cities, and Communities (MCCS) of the Americas, promoted by the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), as a comprehensive and integrative platform where various health initiatives are synergistically implemented at the local level, offering a great opportunity for building strategic alliances.

Thus, the First International Meeting of Women Mayors for Health, Wellbeing, and Equity concluded, with the designation of the city of Cuzco in Peru, as the host for the second meeting.

The event was organized by the Association of Councilwomen and Mayors of Bolivia (ACOBOL) with the support of the Department of Social and Environmental Determinants for Health Equity of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the Government of Canada, as part of the project "Improved Health of Women and Adolescent Girls in Situations of Vulnerability".