Working Group on the issue of discrimination against women in law and in practice

In memoriam: Mercedes Barquet, September 25, 1947 to December 17, 2012

Mercedes Barquet, a national of Mexico, was appointed by the Human Rights Council in May 2011 to serve as one of the first five members of the Working Group on the issue of discrimination against women in law and in practice. She held this position until September 17, 2012, when she resigned because of illness.

In Mexico, Ms. Barquet had a long and distinguished career, including in the academic study of gender, women’s issues and discrimination against women. She was a long-standing member of the Interdisciplinary Program for Women Studies at El Colegio de Mexico (Colmex), an academic center in the fight for women’s rights. Mercedes was also devoted to the strengthening of civil society, participating in multiple non-governmental organizations and in many assignments as a citizen board member of State and national public institutions that implemented gender policies. Over time she gained a reputation for intelligence, politeness, fairness and incorruptibility in her multiple activities.

From 1988 on, Ms. Barquet was a Faculty Member of the Interdisciplinary Program for Women Studies at Colmex. She was appointed to the Editorial Board of the Journal of Women, Politics and Policy. She representedMexico in several key occasions, including as the General Coordinator on Social Issues in the National Coordinating Committee during the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, 1995. She was member of several National Advisory and Citizens’ Boards working to promote women’s rights. Ms. Barquet was trained as an anthropologist/sociologist and received her Masters degree in Social Anthropology from the Universidad Iberoamericana and was a PhD Candidate in Sociology at Colmex.

Throughout her life, Ms Barquet contributed tirelessly to her social and civic environment, including her neighborhood. She was a long standing representative of the professors union at Colmex, helping to obtain substantial improvements in their contractual agreements. She was known for her caring nature and love of family, and for being ready to extend a helping hand to many in need. She was constantly battling destruction and waste, including by calling on the city government and the electricity company. She lived her life by an even-keeled, patient, meticulous, respectful attitude.

The members of the Working Group on discrimination against women in law and in practice express their deep regret at the untimely passing of their valuable colleague and friend. In the short time they had known and worked with her, she was always a source of thoughtful clarity and gentle compassion in the Group’s effort to carry out its mandate. Her unwavering perseverance, generosity of heart, professional commitment and passion in the fight against injustice have left a distinct mark in the Group. Mercedes Barquet’s optimism and standard of what is good and right will continue to guide the Group in carrying forward its work.

Mercedes Barquet’s seat at the Working Group has been filled by Patricia Olamendi Torres, as of December 2012.

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In memoriam