María Adela Muñiz Guadarrama
This profile was prepared when María Adela Muñiz Guadarrama was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2000.
The New Idea
When Adela began to monitor legislation pertaining to women's issues, she recognized certain trends. First, citizen movements had no faith in lobbying the nation's legislature. After years of authoritarian rule, the government was unresponsive and beholden to powerful political and economic interests. Then, in 1997, a series of reforms created parliamentary sub-commissions for specific issue areas. Ironically, the legislators on those commissions felt out of touch with the social movements most relevant to their area. Adela saw the situation as a major opportunity to create a bridge between the government and the public. Consequently, she launched the Consortium for Parliamentary Dialogue and Gender Exchange to help shape legislation on women's issues, and educate advocacy groups about how to advance their agendas.