FEMUM/Latin America and Caribbean (Federation of Women Municipalists of Latin America and the Caribbean) is an organization that was established in 1998 in Quito, Ecuador, with the participation of women local authorities from 11 countries from the region.
• To create equal political participation of women in member countries,
• To strengthen the spaces for incorporating a gender focus in the local governments.
FEMUM creates opportunities for grassroots women in cities to have true citizen participation through the promotion of women mayors, councilwomen, attorney-generals, aldermen and other local authorities. FEMUM upholds the idea that grassroots women's interests, aspirations, and opinions must be taken into account at the moment of making decisions on public works, budget and municipal public policy in general.
FEMUM's work has to do fundamentally with the strengthening of women's political participation in local governments, as authorities and as grassroots organizations. This is all done without ignoring themes of safety, domestic violence, employment needs and the particularity or diversity of each one of the municipalities.
Given that the organization is spread through Latin America and the Carribean, FEMUM works regionally to support women's participation in governance especially in relation to development.
FEMUM believes that we can contribute with the socialization of important successful experiences that exist in the region in the local governments, and the advances that in the theme of political participation with equity that we have in different countries.
FEMUM believes that the local sphere is a window of opportunity for women's empowerment, especially for grassroots women. The principal concern of FEMUM is the promotion of women as local actors to participate in the local government and the management of development projects.
In the LAC region, entry into high level of government is a reality for only elite women if any. On the other hand, the local space, neighborhood or district implies the idea of a community which ideally promotes safety, citizenship, welfare, and opportunities for all. In this path, women need to have with policies, services, municipal teams based in the gender perspectives and a special platform to promote alliances and organizations in order to gain power.
FEMUM believes that women`s empowerment requires more women in decision-making positions, but this does not guarantee that the gender agenda will be addressed. Women who are authorities often are not aware of grassroots women`s concerns and even when they are, they lack power amongst their male peers to address women`s agenda in government agencies. In exchanging knowledge and building a common political platform female authorities and grassroots women strengthen each other and advance women`s empowerment.
FEMUM has created different spaces for grassroots women and female authorities to come together. The training program in Political Marketing and Public Management was a pilot experience in which almost 60 women learned about national and local political tool, like the Law of Gender Equality and how to operate its mechanisms through internal and external pressures of government agencies.
FEMUM is primarily involved in the Governance Campaign. Networking with other members of the Huairou Commission, FEMUM has supported the work of grassroots women in Peru and Argentina. Much of this work involves connecting grassroots organizations to governments and local authorities to promote the grassroots agenda. FEMUM has been particularly active in the MDG3 Initiative and has been working to increase women in leadership roles and support improvement of women as leaders. HC Activities