Costa Rica Defends Women’s Rights at XVI Regional Conference on Women

The objective is to join efforts for the incorporation of more women in the economies of Latin America and the Caribbean

Recently, the XVI Regional Conference of Women was held in Santiago, Chile, at the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), in which Costa Rica played a leading role in advocating the inclusion of more women in the economies of Latin America and the Caribbean, being represented by the First Vice President of the Republic Epsy Campbell Barr.

“Inequality hurts and not only in the stomach, but it also hurts in the soul when a human being feels being of a minor category, feels having no rights because she was born a woman, indigenous or Afro-descendant”.  With these words began Campbell her speech.

During this summit, Costa Rica proposed joining forces between the States present so that women throughout the region are actively included in the economy of each country. This must be done through ambitious goals and that the participation of the women increases at least 10% in the productive processes. Also, Costa Rica’s interest in helping open the doors to a huge source of human talent that has been wasted for many years has been ratified.

The Tica Vice President Epsy Campbell said: “If we walk at the pace in which we are going we will not obtain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and we will reach 2030 with women left behind. That is why we must join more efforts, elaborate more ambitious goals and propose that by 2025 we will increase the participation of women by 10% in our production processes”.

Women’s rights: A struggle of all.

It is worth mentioning that during the realization of this event, Campbell highlighted Costa Rica’s experience in achieving a 46% participation of women in the National Congress, and also the decision of President Carlos Alvarado Quesada to form a more gender-equal cabinet.

“When a society is fairer and more equal, we all win and that is when women join the economy there is greater growth and well-being, with more and better opportunities, thus reducing poverty rates”, stated Campbell. It is important to mention that not only in this summit Costa Rica raised its voice for women’s rights but has been an active participant in similar event carrying proposals in this area.

Data on women’s rights.

At this summit organized by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) with support from the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), important data on the current situation of women in Latin America and the Caribbean was presented.

One of these was to report that currently, the labor participation rate of women in Latin America remains stagnant at around 50% (while that of men is 74.4%), that is, half of the women of the region do not have an active link with the labor market. Another fact that stood out was that, in 2018, at least 3,800 women had been victims of femicide in Latin America and the Caribbean.

In addition to this, it was known that despite the political participation of women in national parliaments has presented a sustained rise over the last decades, women still only occupy on average 31% of the seats in the region. That is why the importance of this summit and the agreements that were carried out for the increased autonomy of women empowerment in the changing economic scenarios of Latin America.

Opinions of the International representatives at the XVI Conference.

Carolina Valdivia, Deputy Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Chile said that, “Vulnerability to economic cycles, migratory flows, the digital revolution, climate change, demographic changes, all are factors hinder the overcoming of discrimination and that mainly affect women and girls”.

Mariella Mazzotti, director of the National Women’s Institute (INMUJERES) of Uruguay, said, “It is important that the regional gender agenda be prioritized and take on new challenges, be enriched with the experience of each of the countries and with the reflection of the research data, of the academy, of the contributing members, particularly of ECLAC ”. “The Montevideo Strategy that we approved in 2016 is an instrument that recognizes inequality as a structural problem in our countries”, she said.

Åsa Regnér, Deputy Executive Director of UN-Women, warned that “If we continue at this rate, it will take us 200 years to eliminate the gender gap”. Therefore, she called on the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, some rich, for example, in natural resources, to generate tax systems or other mechanisms to allocate funds for gender equality policies. “There is no time to lose, to reach 2030 when the deadline for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is over”, Regnér affirmed.

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