Minister Mouynes in Tunisia

Minister Mouynes Promotes Multilateral Approach to Gender Equality in North Africa Visit

Panama’s Foreign Minister Erika Mouynes returned today from a three-day diplomatic visit to the Republic of Tunisia, having been invited by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAS) – a German think tank – to participate as a keynote speaker in the SALMA Dialogue between Africa and Latin America being held in Tunis.  The Dialogue, sponsored by the KAS under the theme “Gender Mainstreaming and Sustainable Development,” welcomed delegations from more than 50 countries in Africa and Latin America to address the shared challenge of achieving gender equality.  

“Panama has made issues such as gender equality central to our foreign policy, with very positive results. We have managed to associate Panama in a positive way with the fight for gender equality,” Foreign Minister Mouynes said in advance of her visit. “Talking about gender is important,” she continued, noting that the last SALMA dialogue was held in Panama in 2021.  

Panama has long been recognized as a leader in promoting gender equality, both through its domestic initiatives and multilateral partnerships. Panamanian law requires that women make up at least 30% of public and private boards of directors, and the country has launched a “Women in the Energy Transition” roadmap to empower women in the traditionally male-dominated STEM fields. Abroad, Panama has championed gender equity as a founding member of the Equal Pay International Coalition (EPIC), aimed at reducing the wage gap between men and women in accordance with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. These measures have had an impact – in its periodic review published earlier this year, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women commended Panama on its noteworthy institutional frameworks for promoting gender equality. 

While in Tunis, Foreign Minister Mouynes, joined by UN Women director María Noel Vaeza, visited the Sidi Ali Azzouz Center for Women – a nonprofit shelter set up to offer emergency accommodation and support for female victims of violence. The visit underscored the similarly dire circumstances faced by migrant women in Latin America and Africa and highlighted the important role of forums like the SALMA Dialogue in facilitating the exchange of best practices to protect vulnerable populations.  

Foreign Minister Mouynes also met with Mohamed Salah Ben Aissa, Secretary General Adjoint and Director of the Arab League’s Tunis bureau. In this meeting, the Foreign Minister emphasized Panama’s commitment to multilateralism and regional cooperation to address shared challenges, as evidenced by its leadership in international forums aimed at preserving the environment, promoting economic development, and protecting women’s rights.

For more information on Panama’s program on gender equality, visit the Driven by Purpose site.