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CIC National Capital Branch (Ottawa): Voices in Leadership: Women of Venezuela
May 31, 2022 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm EDT
Women have been disproportionately affected by the Venezuelan crisis. From poverty and a lack of access to maternal and reproductive health care to sexual and gender-based violence, the gender-based impacts of the Venezuelan crisis have been significant. Despite this impact, until recently, women were kept at the margins of Venezuela’s political process. No longer. As parties to political negotiations on Venezuela’s future prepare to reconvene in Mexico City, Venezuelan women are assuming a greater role in shaping the terms of democratic transition and laying the foundation for sustainable peace. Across the political divide, Venezuelan women are emerging as political leaders in their own right: generating constructive policy solutions, embarking on high-level diplomacy, leading civil society organizations, and engaging in difficult negotiations to address Venezuela’s crisis and achieve a democratic solution. As part of these efforts, a group of Venezuelan women leaders have spearheaded Women for Democracy in Venezuela (Mujeres por la Democracia en Venezuela – MDV), a new democratic movement of women committed to inclusive democratic change. Comprised of female political leaders, negotiators, human rights defenders, lawyers, policy experts, and journalists from inside and outside of Venezuela, Women for Democracy in Venezuela works to empower women within Venezuela’s political process, and to ensure women are meaningfully included in high-level decision-making regarding Venezuela’s future.
Isadora Zubillaga is Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for the Venezuelan Interim Government and the co-founder of Women for Democracy in Venezuela. Among other roles, Ambassador Zubillaga previously served as Director of Speak Truth to Power, a Human Rights project of the Robert F. Kennedy Foundation and as International Coordinator of NYC2010, under the leadership of Michael Bloomberg, as well as Vice President of eQuest partners and CEO of LA Almazara. Ambassador Zubillaga holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Political Science from the University of Boston and a Master’s degree in International Relations from the University of La Sorbonne, in Paris.
Manuela Bolívar is a Member of the Venezuelan Parliament. She is also the president of the subcommittee on Women and Gender Equality and the Executive Director of the Proyecto Nodriza.
Cristina Burelli is a Venezuelan-American social entrepreneur and environmental activist. She is the founder and executive director of V5Initiative, a non-profit that leads and supports broad initiatives that promote better and more informed policy making and governance at the national and international level. She is also the international liaison for the environmental advocacy group SOS Orinoco. From 2002 to 2014, she was the executive director of Alliance for the Family. She matriculated at Queens’ College, Cambridge in 1981 and read for an MA in Social Anthropology.
Professor Maxwell A. Cameron (Ph.D., California, Berkeley, 1989) teaches in the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs (SPPGA) and the Department of Political Science at UBC. He specializes in comparative politics (Latin America), constitutionalism, and democracy.
He is the author or editor of a dozen academic books as well as over fifty peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. His books include: Democracy and Authoritarianism in Peru; Latin America’s Left Turns: Politics, Policies and Trajectories of Change; Democracia en la Region Andina; New Institutions for Participatory Democracy in Latin America; and Political Institutions and Practical Wisdom.
Cameron has held visiting positions in the Kellogg Institute for International Studies at Notre Dame University (1996) and at Yale University, where he was the Canadian Bicentennial Professor in 2005.
As Director of the Centre for the Study of Democratic Institutions from 2013-2022, he worked with a team to organize the Institute for Future Legislators.
In 2020 he was named a Distinguished Fellow by the Canadian Association of Latin American and Caribbean Studies and in 2022 he received the Guillermo O’Donnell Democracy Award and Lectureship by the Latin American Studies Association for his work on democracy in Latin America.
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This event is organized by the Canadian International Council (CIC) National Capital Branch and the Latin America and Caribbean Study Group.
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