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Today, Vital Voices Global Partnership and the Organization of American States (OAS) formally entered a groundbreaking memorandum of understanding centered around women’s leadership, climate change, gender equality, and the rights of Indigenous women.

“Although the World Economic Forum tells us we have more than 131 years before [women] reach equity, I believe so strongly that, together, we can get there much faster,” said Vital Voices Cofounder, President, and CEO Alyse Nelson, during the ceremony. “We look forward to bringing our expertise to those in the OAS network, that we can also provide general leadership training to, as we continue our important work in identifying and developing future women leaders in different areas of women’s rights and across all communities.”

The historic memorandum and partnership are expected to have a far-reaching impact, touching the lives of thousands of women and girls across 35 countries in the Americas.

“Joining the efforts of the OAS and Vital Voices is a very valuable opportunity. This association will allow us to learn and create by connecting women from across the Americas. It is not only about creating spaces to incorporate more women, but also about achieving labor, social, and health conditions that allow them to influence and exercise effective leadership for the benefit of all citizens,” said OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro on signing the agreement.

The OAS and Vital Voices worked together previously when, during the 53rd OAS General Assembly, Vital Voices and the Inter-American Commission of Women (CIM) of the OAS held the event “Breaking the Mold: A New Approach to Political Leadership from the voices of women in the Americas.”

Vital Voices Global Partnership is a nonprofit organization founded on the simple idea that nations and communities cannot advance without women’s voices in leadership positions. By exhibiting visionary thinking and taking risks to innovate, Vital Voices invests in women leaders who work to strengthen laws, create jobs, change cultures, and defend freedoms, generating change that extends to the global community.