Neither the harsh rain nor the difficulty of walking with high heels prevented a group of activists from the Women’s National Forum of Panamanian Political Parties today, who held the "March In Heels", to demand more participation in decision-making and life country policy.
With all their makeup, hair down and clothes clinging to their body due to the persistent downpour, dozens of women were not intimidated and completed their journey from the Iglesia del Carmen, in the banking center, to the Parque Porras, opposite the headquarters of the Public Ministry (MP), escorted by the Police.
The unique protest, which was cheered on by a “murga” (typical musical group of the Panamanian carnivals), has as a backdrop the newly initiated electoral process towards the general elections of May 5, 2019.
Therefore, during the walk, the activists, not all in heels, shouted slogans such as "A vote for women, is a wise vote", "When a woman advances the man does not back down", "Women are trained to lead and change the country ", "We can do it if we’re all together, let's unite", "Woman, participate in political life", among others.
The activists also complained that the political parties have not met the gender parity in electoral matters, and they promised to keep fighting because they are guaranteed 50 percent of the nominations to positions of popular election.
"This is the March In Heels, it is a march for women to raise our voices for a better Panama and for us to show ourselves as a transformative offer, because we are 50 percent of the world's population and more than 50 percent of the electoral population list for the 2019 elections," Jackelyne Hurtado, adviser to the board of directors of the Women’s National Forum of Panamanian Political Parties, told EFE.
Hurtado, also a candidate for mayor of the district of San Miguelito, east of the capital, for the Popular Party (PP), explained that the activity was called "March in heels" symbolically, "to draw the attention of society saying we, women, are here and we have a lot to offer and fight against political discrimination."
"When a woman is in a decision-making position, the family wins," said Hurtado, and said she participated in this call "heeled and happy, because now we are more organized than before."
Juana Herrera, a psychiatrist by profession and president of the Women’s National Forum of Panamanian Political Parties, told EFE that this march was held "to give visibility to women who are in politics and to motivate the community to continue supporting them."
Even so, Herrera considered that the opportunities of participation in the political life of the country "are very narrow and very few, so we have to make ourselves visible in the streets to be able to have those electoral and participation options in the branches of the Government".
"I hope that (in the next elections) the electorate will keep their eyes open, see the profiles of the candidates and choose well so that we can have more women, the best, in the National Assembly (Parliament)" and in other positions said Herrera.
The activist, who indicated that the march was supported by the Ombudsman's Office, said she was convinced that a country run by women "would be an excellent country because a woman is an organizer, a person who cares about health, education and other tasks in which they put their effort and passion."
According to a study conducted by the Women’s National Forum of Panamanian Political Parties, in more than a dozen elections that have taken place in Panama from 1945 to 2014 only 67 women have been elected deputies, compared to a total of 764 men who conquered the legislative seat.