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It is Imperative that the Gender Approach be Mainstreamed throughout the 2030 Agenda, Alicia Bárcena says
The gender approach must be mainstreamed throughout the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, with a special view to achieving women’s economic, physical and political autonomy, Alicia Bárcena, ECLAC’s Executive Secretary, said at a side event entitled Commitments and Roadmap Towards a 50-50 Planet by 2030, held in the framework of the first meeting of the Forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on Sustainable Development, which is taking place through Friday in the Mexican capital with ECLAC’s sponsorship.
The gathering was organized by the regional Inter-Agency Gender Group (IAGG) of the United Nations. The main speaker at the opening session was Jessica Faieta, Chair of the United Nations Development Group for Latin America and the Caribbean (UNDG-LAC) and Regional Director of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), with Luiza Carvalho, the Regional Director of UN Women for the Americas and the Caribbean, acting as moderator.
Faieta thanked both Mexico and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) for the opportunity to participate in the first meeting of the regional forum on sustainable development to contribute to participants’ reflections on the issue of gender equality. One of the mandates of the UNDG-LAC, she said, is to promote coherency in the support that the United Nations system provides to countries in the region.
In her speech, Bárcena mainly addressed the challenges relating to women’s economic autonomy: eight out of every 10 women work in low-productivity sectors, their access to technology is still low, and they are overrepresented in domestic and care work, she indicated. Estimates from satellite accounts in the region indicate that unpaid work represents 24.2% of the GDP in Mexico, 20.4% in Colombia, 18.8% in Guatemala and 15.2% in Ecuador, she underscored.
In addition, the senior United Nations official recalled that in 2017 the Regional Conference on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean will celebrate its 40th year. This subsidiary body of ECLAC held its first meeting in Havana, Cuba in 1977. At these conferences, she explained that participants have worked to forge the Regional Gender Agenda, which encompasses country commitments to gender equality. At the last conference held in Uruguay, attendees approved the Montevideo Strategy, which contemplates 10 pillars for implementation, she said.
During the event Bárcena stressed the need to empower the most vulnerable girls, adolescents and women and protect them from violence and crime, while also strengthening transformative alliances to achieve full gender equality.
Other presenters at the gathering included Lorena Cruz, Director of Mexico’s National Institute of Women; Alejandra Mora, Minister of the Status of Women from Costa Rica and Executive President of the National Institute of Women (INAMU); Laura Echeverría, National Director of Chile’s National Service for Women and Gender Equality (SERNAMEG); and Carlos Felipe Prada, Deputy Director of Colombia’s National Administrative Department of Statistics.
Additional speakers included Leo Heileman, Regional Director of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP); Cesar Nuñez, Regional Director of the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS); Jose Manuel Salazar, Regional Director of the International Labour Organization (ILO); Juan Carlos Murillo, Head of the Legal Unit at the Regional Bureau of the Americas, UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR); and Marcelo Pisani, Regional Director for Central America, North America and the Caribbean of the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
The remaining participants were Ronald Jackson, Executive Director of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA); Otilia Inés Lux de Cotí, Maya k'iche' woman from Guatemala and Adviser of Indigenous Women of Latin America and the Caribbean (MILAC); Tania Consentino, CEO for South America at Schneider Electric; and Mariana Mancilla, a feminist and activist.
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