The participants in the Ninth Regional Conference on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean, held in Mexico City, today unanimously approved the meeting's concluding document, called the Mexico City Consensus, after three days of debate.
In it, the governments of the countries participating in this event, organized by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and Mexico's National Women's Institute (Instituto Nacional de las Mujeres, INMUJERES), reaffirmed their decision to apply measures in different areas. The document calls for the implementation of public policies to help overcome poverty affecting the region's women and to adopt pro-active policies to create jobs and recognize the economic value of domestic and unremunerated productive labour.
The Consensus calls for strengthening efforts to prevent, diagnose and treat sexually transmitted infections, especially HIV/AIDS, and guarantee access without discrimination to information, aid, education and prevention services.
It calls for applying the integrated measures necessary to eliminate all forms of violence against women, including family violence, sexual harassment and abuse, incest, sexual exploitation and trafficking of women and girls, forced prostitution, systematic rapes and killings in situations of armed conflict, as well as eliminating unilateral measures against international law and the United Nations Charter.
It calls for promoting the full and egalitarian participation of men and women at every level of decision-making in the State, society and the market, and encouraging civil society participation in decision-making at the local, national, regional and global levels. It invites the region's parliaments to review their legislation to harmonize it in terms of human rights and non-discrimination against women, girls, boys and adolescents.
It calls for educational policies that respond to country's needs, favouring the education of all women and a culture of respect for women's human rights, introducing consciousness-raising programmes at every level of teaching. It asks that policies and legislation be reviewed, to strengthen the obligation to pay for the economic support of boys, girls, adolescents and other dependents.
It calls for laws to be reviewed to ensure that women enjoy full and equal rights to possess land and other property, and to carry out the administrative reforms necessary to give women the same rights as men to credit and capital.
It calls for guarantees that national mechanisms for women's progress include the necessary financial and human resources, and to strengthen their political capacities and consolidate their institutional ranking at the highest level.
It calls on governments that have not yet ratified and applied the Convention on eliminating all forms of discrimination against women and its protocol, to consider doing so.
In the Consensus Governments also repeat their view that full and effective implementation of the Beijing Platform of Action, the Regional Programme of Action for the Women of Latin America and the Caribbean, and the CARICOM Action Plan is an essential contribution to meeting the Millennium Development Goals approved by the United Nations General Assembly in New York in 2000.
The Consensus approves the report presented by ECLAC, Roads toward Gender Equity in Latin America and the Caribbean, and the research agenda contained therein.
The delegates declared that the Mexico City Consensus constitutes the region's contribution to the Status of Women Commission at its 49th session, scheduled for March 2005.