On February 25, 2016, Professor Celina Realuyo participated in the 2016 Women Working for the World Conference: “Why Women Matter?” in Bogotá, Colombia with over 470 female public, private, and civic sector leaders from Colombia and the rest of Latin America in attendance. In an interview with prominent Radio W Colombia journalist Camila Zuluaga, Professor Realuyo underscored the importance of the inclusion and empowerment of women in the Colombian peace process and commended Colombia for its Gender Sub-Commission in their peace talks. She reminded the audience that over half of the victims of armed conflict are women and children whether it be in Afghanistan, Syria, or Colombia. Professor Realuyo noted that since about 30% of the FARC guerrillas are women, the peace negotiations and the post-conflict reintegration measures should include specific assistance programs to help female FARC fighters transition into society and promote sustainable socio-economic development in the FARC-dominated regions.
The Women Working for the World Conference is considered one of Latin America’s most important discussion platforms regarding gender and development that examines multiple issues related to women´s and girls discrimination, domestic violence, reproductive rights, poverty traps (child marriage – teen pregnancy) among others. The conference is organized and sponsored by the Juan Felipe Gómez Escobar foundation, a non-profit organization that seeks to improve the quality of life of children and teenage mothers in extreme poverty in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia through two strategic objectives: reducing child mortality and empowering teenage mothers in extreme poverty, through comprehensive health care, psychological therapy, and training in productive activities for their insertion into the labor market.