(April 21, 2017)
Mabel Bianco, President of FEIM, received an award yesterday “for her leadership in the fight for gender equality and the empowerment of women” from the Interamerican Parliamentary Group on Population and Development (GPI) – Argentine Chapter, coordinated by the national delegates Carolina Gaillard (FPV- Entre Ríos) and Gabriela Troiano (PS-Buenos Aires). Present at the tribute, which took place in the annex of la Honorable Cámara de Diputados de la Nación, in addition to the organizers were the national delegates Carla Carrizo (UCR) and Cristina Álvarez Rodríguez (FpV), the parliamentarian of Mercosur María Luisa Storani (Frente Cambiemos), Silvia Lommi and Carla Majdalani to represent Fabiana Tuñez from the National Council for Women, Mariana Isasi liaison officer of UNFPA, and representatives from feminist civil society organizations.
“I receive this award in the name of the fight of Latin American women”, said Bianco after receiving the diploma of honor and an engraved plaque from the representatives.
The president of FEIM addressed the achievements of the feminist movement in the region and especially the work of the Latin American and Caribbean Women’s Health Network (RSMLAC). “If women do not form alliances, we lose”, reflected Bianco, and she continued: “We have to have consistency, be supportive of one another and never give up. As feminists, we need to learn to negotiate with flexibility. Sometimes the best possible drafting is not achieved in our projects, but it’s important to consider that they are advances that can later be improved”. In this respect, she gave the example of the Law of Sexual Health and Responsible Procreation of 2002 and how later, in 2006, the laws of Surgical Contraception and of Integral Sexual Education were achieved. “We must not lower our flags. The issues that divide us do not have to prevent us from working together on what unites us, in spite of our differences”, said Bianco. Later, she shared anecdotes about the successes of the approval of the Female Quota Law and the Optional Protocol of CEDAW (The Convention of the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women), the construction of the agenda of population and development of Cairo and also its passing by the government administration in 1983-89 and in 2000-2001.
Finally, the president of FEIM addressed the need for the Congress to discuss the decriminalization of abortion. “I do not want to die without seeing it. I ask of the delegates and everyone here that we continue fighting to stop more women from dying under absolutely preventable circumstances”.
Cecilia Correa, project officer of the GPI Argentine chapter, coordinated the event in which many important actors participated, including Susana Stilman from the Gender Equity Commission of the Consultative Council of the Civil Society of the Argentine Chancellery, Elena Reynaga from the RedTraSex, Ana González from the Committee for the Freedom of Milagro Sala, Lidia Heller from the Latin American Women’s Network, Eva Gamboa from Conami (National Commission of Microfinances), Dafne Sabanes Plou from APC, Paula Rey from ELA, among other feminist women.
“Today we recognize Mabel Bianco for being one of the driving forces behind the idea that the women’s agenda should now be part of the public agenda” said delegate Gailard, and delegate Álvarez Rodríguez highlighted Bianco`s collaboration in the drafting of numerous legal projects for women’s rights, beyond partisan differences. Delegate Carrizo assured that “Mabel Bianco impacts policy-making with her social leadership” and emphasized “the quality of her human condition”. Storani pointed out: “The figure of Mabel Bianco was key in parliamentary matters and public management. In the name of the (radical) party, I acknowledge and appreciate this homage to Mabel”.
Majdalani and Lommi from the CNM thanked Bianco for “her generosity” and her “comradeship” and asserted that the president of FEIM “brings the country to a high position in the international arena”. Isai said: “It is important to recognize our great leaders like Mabel” and thanked Bianco for her contributions to areas of health, HIV, reproductive rights, and for her work as an important spokeswoman of the causes of women in the news media.
Stilman, who spoke first for the civil society, remembered the protagonism of Bianco in the feat of the Female Quota Law, carried out together with a wide alliance of women from all political parties, and emphasized “the fight of women overcomes partisanship, because what is important to us all is equality. That is what we applaud Mabel for today”. Reynaga remembered the support she received from Bianco to aid women captured by the police in the earliest times of ANMAR (The Meritorious Women’s Association). She also valued “the teachings of Mabel in international forums, she taught us to have political prowess”.