(Brasilia, 15 July 2010) The benefits of social programmes are best channelled through women, said Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, President of Brazil, to a group of participants to the Eleventh Session of the Regional Conference on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean, being held in Brasilia and concluding on 16 July.
Representatives of United Nations bodies and programmes and delegates participating in the session were received by the Brazilian President last night at the Banco do Brasil Cultural Centre in the capital.
This session of the Regional Conference on Women is organized by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) with the support of the Secretariat on Policies for Women of Brazil.
Referring to the social programmes implemented by his government, including Mihna Casa, Minha Vida, Territórios da Cidadania and Bolsa Familia, President Lula said that women should always be appointed as the beneficiaries of such programmes, "because women are more careful with resources than men".
During the meeting, the Executive Secretary of ECLAC, Alicia Bárcena, thanked President Lula for his leadership, generosity and support in organizing the session, and presented him with a copy of the document What kind of State? What kind of equality?, which examines the achievements of the governments of the region and the challenges ahead in gender equality.
In the document, ECLAC proposes a new social covenant to redistribute total work between men and women in order to facilitate women's access to the labour market in fulfilment of their human rights.
"This document follows up on the proposal set out in Time for equality: closing gaps, opening trails, which we recently presented in Brasilia as well. Brazil opens trails, inspires us with its leadership and sets the course for the region," said Bárcena.
The proposal takes a comprehensive approach to development focused on equality and was put forward by ECLAC as the new roadmap for the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean at its Thirty-third session.
President Lula asked ECLAC to organize a special session prior to the high-level plenary meeting of the United Nations General Assembly on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in September to analyze progress in achieving those goals from a gender perspective, and expressed his interest in participating in person at the session.
Further information on the Eleventh session of the Regional Conference on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean is available on the ECLAC website.
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