IRI Kicks-Off Women’s Participation Program in Mexico

The International Republican Institute (IRI) launched its Mexico woman’s participation initiative with trainings in Toluca, Cuernavaca and Puebla November 9-14, 2006.  The trainings, which attracted more than 500 civically active women, helped them identify ways to increase the participation of women in their local communities.

The initial event in Toluca was a joint effort with Renaces (re-birth in English), an organization devoted to boosting the potential of female small-business owners, most of who live in rural areas.  In Cuernavaca, IRI once again joined with Renaces as well as with women from the Rural Women’s Development Council (COSEC).  The training in Puebla was hosted with COSEC.      

Nancy Zarenda, who served as the Regional Chair for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 2006 Hispanic Families for Arnold Coalition, served as a trainer and shared her own struggles and successes as a woman involved in politics and business.  She spoke about her campaign experience during Arnold  HYPERLINK “” Schwarzenegger’s gubernatorial race and her efforts to tap into the mostly ignored Latino population.  She also spoke about her business and offered advice to women wanting to expand their own local ventures.  

In Cuernavaca, Mayela Alemán de Adame the wife of Governor Marco Antonio Adame of the state Morelos encouraged the participants to become active in their local communities though government and business.  

Yareli Jaimes, the head of COSEC, spoke to women in Puebla where some participants traveled more than seven hours to attend the training.  Women in Puebla are the surrounding areas expressed their dissatisfaction with the traditionally unresponsive government.  

Over the next several months, IRI will continue to focus its trainings on impoverished areas of southern Mexico, where development has lagged behind the industrialized north.  IRI’s next event is being planned for the state of Chiapas, where a group of politically active women has requested formal candidate training. 

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