“The Montevideo Strategy is an ambitious political and technical instrument that seeks to untie the structural knots of gender inequality in Latin America and the Caribbean,” said María Nieves Rico, Director of the Gender Affairs Division of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), at a side event to the 61st session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW61) that is taking place in New York.
The Montevideo Strategy for Implementation of the Regional Gender Agenda within the Sustainable Development Framework by 2030, which sets 10 pillars for implementation, was adopted in Montevideo, Uruguay, in October 2016 at the 13th Regional Conference on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean, one the nine ECLAC subsidiary bodies. The gender-equality commitments adopted by the countries since the first Regional Conference in 1977 have given life to the Regional Gender Agenda.
On Thursday 16 March, Rico spoke at the event From commitments to public action to close gender gaps: Montevideo Strategy for implementing the Regional Gender Agenda in the framework of sustainable development, organized in conjunction with the Government of Uruguay and UN Women as a side event to the meetings of CSW61, which are taking place from 13 to 24 March 2017 at United Nations Headquarters.
The event also heard remarks from Mariella Mazzotti, Director of the National Women’s Institute of Uruguay and Chair of the Regional Conference on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean; Luiza Carvallo, Director of the Regional Office of UN Women; Claudia Pascual, Chile’s Minister for Women and Gender Equity; and Alejandra Mora, Costa Rica’s Minister for the Status of Women.
At the meeting, the ECLAC official presented the main conclusions of the recently published document The 2030 Agenda and the Regional Gender Agenda: Synergies for equality in Latin America and the Caribbean (available in Spanish), which states that “full and effective implementation of the Regional Gender Agenda through the Montevideo Strategy provides the road map for attaining the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in accordance with the region’s priorities and challenges”.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was adopted by the UN Member States in September 2015 and sets 17 goals and 169 targets for 2030.
In its new document, ECLAC sets out a comprehensive approach to the two agendas, to ensure that progress with certain SDGs is not made in a way that hinders the goals and targets that address gender equality and the rights of women.
María Nieves Rico explained, for example, that if one of the region’s countries increases its exports (target 17.11) through industries that make intensive use of precarious female labour, it might reach the export target but hamper efforts to ensure quality jobs for women (SDG 8). Similarly, if tax revenue is increased (target 17.1) through regressive tax systems, the result could be greater social and gender inequality, hampering the attainment of goals 10.3, 10.4 and 5.c.
ECLAC is organizing another two side events during CSW61. Also taking place on Thursday 16 March was the event Engendering cities. Women’s Empowerment to End VAW, jointly organized with the Articulación Feminista MARCOSUR, Red Mujer y Hábitat de América Latina and the UN-Habitat Gender Hub. Then, on Monday 20 March, the event Statistics for equality: A requirement for progress and sustainable development will be held, in conjunction with the Government of Mexico and UN Women.
CSW61 is open to attendance by representatives of UN Member States and agencies and by nongovernmental organizations that have been accredited by the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). This year’s priority theme is “women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work”.