We are all the same.
It is a principle that I truly believe in my heart.
No one should feel more than another person and no one should be seen as less under any circumstances. Unfortunately, this is not a reality.
We live in a world where we doubt someone’s ability just because they have a physical limitation.
Or worse still, for the fact of having preferences different from ours, or being of another race.
This is unacceptable!
Counselors of the National Electoral Council, Magistrates of the Electoral Court of Justice, Commissioners of the Unit for Financing, Transparency, and Oversight of Political Parties and Candidates, Resident Director of IFES, Marcelo Varela, Program Manager of NDI, Carlos Patiño, Partners of the civil society.
Honduras is going through an important moment.
It is up to you that in the future, history tells how Honduras took advantage of the opportunity to guarantee the political rights of groups that had been excluded.
Major changes have already been made.
They have elected the first female President in the history of Honduras.
Through an electoral process in which 68 percent of voters overwhelmingly said YES to democracy!
An electoral process where the voice of youth, which was not taken into account before, was the one that was heard loudest.
Today we continue betting on historical changes!
Although the electoral process was successful, there is still a long way to go.
To really be able to live democracy, it is necessary to guarantee that everyone has access to it.
The progress achieved to date is encouraging.
Recently, 35 deputies were elected to the National Congress, that is, 12 more women than in 2017.
Political parties increased the number of young candidates by 70 percent.
Honduras elected its first deputy from the LGBTI+ community.
But there are still challenges to overcome.
For example, although there is a representative from the LGBTI+ community, only 8 were able to participate as candidates.
The number of Afro-descendant congressmen decreased from 7 in 2017 to 4 in 2021.
At USAID we have identified these situations and we are working with you to create more opportunities for participation and leadership.
We support spaces for dialogue between electoral authorities and underrepresented civil society groups.
Let me tell you how together we are making a difference:
Sign language interpretation was provided at the voting centers to facilitate access to the vote for the deaf population.
And the vote was promoted in the young population.
This was only the beginning. We plan to continue working to ensure inclusive voting.
Likewise, we are working with our partner CEM-H and members of the National Congress to combat political violence against women, as well as achieve greater political participation.
This event is important because these groups seldom have the opportunity to be heard.
In a more inclusive democracy, without discrimination of any kind, it is important to listen to all Voices.
Only you can make Honduras a country that is more respectful of the rights of all its citizens.
A Honduras in which no one is left behind or left out, and no one has to leave to fulfill their dreams.
We are with you!
I thank you all for your attention.
Thank you very much!