Paraguay

Maria Jose Argaña, Former Minister for the Women in Paraguay and member from ANR-Partido Colorado, during a Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation Conference for Women in Latinamerica

Population: 6.7 million
Area: 406 752 km2
GDP (PPP): 60.15 billion dollar (2015 estimate)
GDP per capita (PPP): 8 800 $ (2015 estimate)
Rate of growth: 1.16 % (2015 estimate)
Head of state and head of government: Horacio Cartes Jara

From 1865 to 1870 the War of the Triple Alliance raged with Paraguay on the losing side. Two thirds of all adult males were killed and Paraguay lost a lot of territory. In the aftermath of the war, Paraguay stagnated politically and economically. During the years of 1954-1989, Paraguay was ruled by a junta led by Alfredo Stroessner. The country’s economy was mismanaged and Paraguay became a haven for Nazi war criminals and businessmen seeking to evade domestic prosecution. For the last 10-15 years, however, Paraguay has developed in a more democratic direction.

Elections have been free and democratic ever since 1989. Human rights are increasingly respected, though problems still remain. The legal system is, according to the law, independent of the political power, but the system is, in reality, susceptible to political pressure. There is no state censorship and media is free. However, ownership of the media is highly concentrated and radio transmissions with content critical of the regime have been jammed.

After several years of economic stagnation, a growth package, voted through in 2010, stimulated the economy. Analysts attribute poor economic performance to political instability, corruption, poor infrastructure and lack of structural reforms. However, the underground economy makes up for some of this.

In the last presidential election, Horacio Cartes Jara from ANR-Partido Colorado (National Republic Assosiation-Colorado Party) won with a simple majority and was inaugurated on August 2013 for a five-year term with 45.8 percent of the votes.

The next presidential election takes place in April 2018.

The Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation cooperates with ANR-Partido Colorado.

It is a stated goal of the Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation to educate female and youth decision-makers. In 2012, a number of conferences on the theme “Empoderamiento de Mujeres” took place with participants from different Latin American countries. Concurrently with these conferences, youth conferences were arranged on the theme “Principles for a Free Society”.

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