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Latin American Feminist Organizations pledge support to #EndChildMarriage in T&T

November 16, 2016

14 Spanish speaking countries have crossed the language divide to offer their solidarity and advocate for the protection of girls against child marriage in Trinidad and Tobago at the XIII Regional Conference on Women. Latin America and Caribbean civil society organizations recently gathered at the Feminist Organizations Forum in Montevideo, Uruguay, with 37 women's right groups answering the call to action  and signing onto The Coalition to End Child Marriage in T&T's CIVIL SOCIETY STATEMENT ON RATIONALIZING THE AGE OF CONSENT: Four Specific Criteria for Corrective Legislation



                                    Foro de Organizaciones Feministas, Magaly Pineda


WOMANTRA Founder/Co Director and newly minted civil society advisor to UN Women (LAC Region) Stephanie Leitch, seized the opportunity to speak to a largely Central and South American audience about the work of the Coalition to End Child Marriage in T&T at the Feminist Organizations Forum (FOF), based on the theme Feminist Challenges. The panel treated with different perspectives, constraints and opportunities faced in developing the capacity and impact of women's decisions on their autonomy. In keeping with this, Leitch spoke to the legislative and advocacy campaign led by various organizations of the Coalition over the past six months, in an attempt to pressure the government to #AmendTheMarriageLaws before year's end. The FOF named after Magaly Pineda, is coordinated by civil society to coincide with the Regional Conference on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean. This meeting happens once every three years and was convened for the first time in Montevideo, Uruguay from 25 - 28th October, 2016 by the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).



The Regional Conference on Women has been the main forum for the negotiation of an ambitious, broad and comprehensive regional gender agenda. This agenda comprises the commitments made by Latin American and Caribbean governments on women’s rights and autonomy and gender equality that were adopted at sessions of the Regional Conference on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean. These commitments are reflected in the Regional Plan of Action for the Integration of Women into Latin American Economic and Social Development (1977), the Regional Programme of Action for the Women of Latin America and the Caribbean, 1995-2001 (1994), the Santiago Consensus (1997), the Lima Consensus (2000), the Mexico City Consensus (2004), the Quito Consensus (2007), the Brasilia Consensus (2010) and the Santo Domingo Consensus (2013). 


The newest of these, the Montevideo Strategy (2016) comes out of the negotiations at the XIII Conference on Women; a regional agreement that recognizes the political and programmatic value of preceding agreements and complements them, taking into account new socioeconomic and political situations at the regional and global levels over the past 40 years. Notably, the Trinidad and Tobago government was absent from these proceedings and by virtue of this opted out of contributing to the document, but remain bound to its contents as a member state.  


To this end, the regional gender agenda makes specific reference to child marriage in Section (b) (i) on the critical dimensions for gender equality and women’s autonomy, recognized as rights;


 "Right to a life free of all forms of violence and discrimination: violence against women in its various manifestations (private, public, symbolic, institutional, cyber, economic, obstetric, political, in armed conflicts, in natural disasters, deprivation of liberty, harassment in the workplace, sexual harassment, sexual abuse and exploitation, migrant smuggling, trafficking in women, forced prostitution, rape, femicide); forced marriage and cohabitation imposed on girls and adolescents; public safety and cities; legislation and access to justice; educational content and the media; stereotypes, sexism, racism, ethnocentrism, homophobia, lesbophobia, transphobia and discrimination."


The strategy comprises agreements on gender equality and women’s autonomy that address multiple issues that can be grouped together under certain critical dimensions that are integral to human rights, thereby recognizing women and girls as rights-holders and States as the guarantors of those rights, while reaffirming that those rights are universal, indivisible, inalienable and interdependent.




We thank all of the organizations from across the LAC region for adding their strength to the Coalition to End Child Marriage and we urge the government to uphold its commitment to protect our nation's most vulnerable and end all forms of discrimination and violence against women and girls.








Católicas por el Derecho a Decidir 

Frente de Mujeres Evita Argentina

La Red por los Derechos de las Personas con Discapacidad (REDI)
La Fundación para Estudio e Investigación de la Mujer (FEIM) 

Asociación Civil Accion Reflexión Lésbica Feminista - Las Safina

Articulación Feminista Mercosur- CISCA

Asociación mujeres de Argentina


Equality Bahamas 
Hollaback! Bahamas


Violeta Ross/ Red Nacional personas con VIH

Red de Mujeres Afrolatinoamericanas, Afrocaribeñas y de la Diáspora


Articulação de Mulheres Brasileiras



Colombia Diversa


La Coordinadora Juvenil por la Equidad de Género 

Colectiva Salud Mujeres Ecuador

El Salvador

Colectiva feminista para el Desarrollo local

CEMUJER El Salvador


Red Latinoamericana y Caribeña de jóvenes por los derechos sexuales y reproductivos (REDLAC)

Red de Jóvenes para la Incidencia política INCIDEJOVEN


Red de Mafio


Jamaica Network of Rural Women Producers


Red Latinoamericana y Caribeña de jóvenes por los derechos sexuales y reproductivos (REDLAC)

Red Nacional de Juventudes por los Derechos Sexuales y  Derechos Reproductivos de Nicaragua


Mujeres con Dignidad y Derecho de Panama (MDDP)


Centro de documentación y estudios


Chola Contravisual

Puerto Rico

Amnistía Internacional - Comité de Genero

República Dominica (Dominican Republic)

Centro de Investigación para la Acción Femeninas (CIPAF)

Colectiva Mujer y Salud

Trinidad and Tobago

Association of Female Executives of Trinidad and Tobago (AFETT)
Caribbean Association for Feminist Research and Action (CAFRA) Trinidad and Tobago
Domestic Violence Survivors Reaching Out
Down Syndrome Family Network
Faculty of Law, University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus
Family Planning Association of Trinidad and Tobago (FPATT)

Grassroots Organisations Operating Together in Sisterhood in Trinidad & Tobago - GROOTS T&T

Hindu Women's Organization of Trinidad and Tobago
Maloney Senior Activity Centre
Maloney Women’s Group
Mamatoto Resource and Birth Centre
Network of NGOs of Trinidad and Tobago for the Advancement of Women
PSI Caribbean
Say Something
Silver Lining Foundation
Women’s Caucus
Women Working for Social Progress (Workingwomen)
Young Women’s Christian Association of Trinidad and Tobago (YWCATT)
Women’s Institute for Alternative Development (WINAD) 


Colectivo Ovejas Negras

Asociación de Mujeres Rurales del Uruguay (AMRU)

Red de Mujeres Rurales

Mujer Política y Democracia

Red Guapas en Movimiento

Grupo Visión Nocturna

Iniciativas Sanitarias





Cecilia Ramírez Rivas

Claudia Anzorena

Elisa Montiel

Emilia Díaz

Glenda Joanna Wetherborn

Herminda González Inostroza

Mabel Vilela

Michelle Isava

Monica Gomes 

Silvia Salinas Mulder

Yeimy Gavidia


Other important reading:


The Coalition to End Child Marriage Calls for the Marriage Laws to be Amended





If you or your organization are in support of ending child marriage, please add your name to the comments, so we can continue to build our Coalition STRONG.


"There is strength in numbers, yes, but even more so in collective good will. For those endeavors are supported by mighty forces unseen." ~ Richelle E. Goodrich



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