The San Juan Daily Star
Bill would include House in approving women’s advocate picks
By The Star Staff
Rep. Jocelyne Rodríguez Negrón, who chairs the Women’s Affairs Committee in the island House of Representatives, introduced House Bill 1694 this week to include the lower chamber as a legislative body capable of granting advice and consent for the confirmation of the person appointed to head the Office of the Women’s Advocate, for a term of 10 years.
“The amendment that we propose today through this measure is intended to guarantee that both the Senate of Puerto Rico and the House of Representatives can grant advice and consent on the appointment of the Women’s Advocate,” Rodríguez Negrón said Tuesday in a written statement. “Our commitment is to ensure the protection, well-being and safety of our women in Puerto Rico, hence the importance that both bodies can evaluate such a sensitive appointment for the country.”
The District 19 (Mayagüez and San Germán) lawmaker expressed concern about the fact that over the years, Puerto Rico has suffered an increase in femicides and cases involving mistreatment of women.
“The numbers are alarming and position Puerto Rico in the forefront of higher rates of this problem. Unfortunately, we live in a society where women have to keep silent out of fear or threats. It is for these reasons that the Office of the Women’s Advocate is so necessary,” Rodríguez Negrón said. “It is commendable that there is a direct and functional service to support, protect and serve thousands of women who suffer the ravages of abuse. Our society must trust that the government has a compelling interest in defending women’s rights. Therefore, as chair of the Committee on Women’s Affairs, I am committed to promoting legislation that ensures that we in the House also have an important role in evaluating and granting advice and consent for the appointment of the Women’s Advocate.”