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Sixty-fifth meeting of the Presiding Officers of the Regional Conference on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean

11 October 2023|Event

During the 65th Meeting of the Regional Conference on Women in Latin America, the relevance of the connections between this conference and other ECLAC bodies was emphasized. The role of water in gender equity was highlighted, identifying four gaps and promoting specific investments, execution with a gender perspective and inclusive monitoring, in accordance with the Regional Action Agenda for Water.

Dr. Silvia Saravia Matus, Economic Affairs Officer in the Division of Natural Resources at ECLAC, along with Xavier Mancero from the Statistics Division, Andrea Sanhueza, Representative of the Division of Sustainable Development and Human Settlements, and the Secretariat of the Escazú Agreement, Alberto Arenas, Director of the Division of Social Development, and Simone Cecchini, Director of the Population Division, participated in the panel on synergies between the Regional Conference on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean and other subsidiary bodies of ECLAC on October 11th, in the context of the 65th Meeting of the Bureau of the Regional Conference on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean, held on October 11th and 12th.

The meeting was organized by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) as the Secretariat of the Conference, in coordination with UN Women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women.

In her presentation, Dr. Saravia, who is responsible for regional water affairs at ECLAC, emphasized the significant interconnection between women and water. She highlighted the recent Water Summit held in New York in March of the current year. This event was part of the Midterm Comprehensive Review of the Implementation of the International Decade for Action, "Water for Sustainable Development" 2018-2028 and was the first of its kind in almost 50 years. The event had the participation of a total of 7,000 people and included six plenary meetings and five interactive dialogues, as well as more than 500 parallel events (with over 1,300 submissions). The headquarters of the activities saw the presence of 20 heads of state and 120 ministers. The main outcome of the event was the adoption of the Global Water Action Agenda, which managed to capture over 700 voluntary commitments.

The Water Action Agenda was previously developed collaboratively during the Regional Water Dialogues for Latin America and the Caribbean held in Chile from February 1st to 3rd, 2023. The event had a hybrid format with over 200 participants on-site and representation from more than 20 countries in the region, along with over 3,700 online registrants and more than 80 high-level water experts as panelists. The Vice President of El Salvador, Mr. Félix Ulloa, six ministers, and seven deputy ministers from different countries in the region also participated. Dr. Saravia Matus also highlighted the strong representation of civil society (indigenous groups, primary and secondary school students, women's associations, rural communities, NGOs), the private sector, international development banks, and academia.

During these dialogues, it was collectively emphasized that water plays a strong role in achieving gender equity in the region. Dr. Saravia Matus mentioned the main four identified gender and water gaps:

 

  1. Access to water and sanitation infrastructure, which is directly related to the health and education of women.

  2. Water management and collection, which affects women's time use and, ultimately, their employment opportunities. Women spend 2.8 times more time than men on unpaid work and household chores, and this burden is closely related to water management.

  3. Access to water for agricultural production, which inevitably impacts food security, especially for rural women.

  4. Governance, which affects collective water management. Women are often not consulted on infrastructure or water policy matters.

Dr. Saravia Matus stressed that to address these gaps, the following steps should be taken:

  1. Promote investment in the water sector, both in domestic use infrastructure and in capital and knowledge for agricultural use.

  2. Take specific measures to ensure that gender equity is considered an integral part of the efficient and effective implementation of water projects and programs.

  3. Disaggregate data related to family responsibilities and roles by gender.

  4. Design well-targeted capacity-building programs for everyone, not just women.

  5. Implement monitoring and evaluation processes with gender perspective indicators.

Her final reflection included the importance of ending gender gaps, as highlighted in the Regional Water Action Agenda, which implicitly and explicitly mentions the urgency of incorporating women's voices to address water challenges in the coming years. Gender perspective should be incorporated in all stages of planning and execution of water programs and projects. Additionally, the region should move toward modern, democratic, and participatory governance with the goal of achieving secure access to water with social justice.

For more information, please refer to the document generated by ECLAC on Water and Gender Policies in Latin America and the Caribbean at the following link.

 

AGENDA:

10.00 a 10.30 horas Inauguración de la 65a Reunión de la Mesa Directiva de la Conferencia Regional sobre la Mujer de América Latina y el Caribe
• Daniel Titelman, Director de la División de Desarrollo Económico de la Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL)
• María-Noel Vaeza, Directora Regional para las Américas y el Caribe de la Entidad de las Naciones Unidas para la Igualdad de Género y el Empoderamiento de las Mujeres (ONU-Mujeres)
• Ayelén Mazzina, Ministra de las Mujeres, Géneros y Diversidad de la Argentina
10.30 a 10.35 horas Aprobación del temario provisional
10.35 a 11.45 horas  Panel sobre sinergias entre la Conferencia Regional sobre la Mujer de América Latina y el Caribe y otros órganos subsidiarios de la CEPAL Modera:
• Jimena Arias, Oficial de Asuntos Sociales de la Oficina de la Secretaría de la Comisión de la CEPAL
• Xavier Mancero, Oficial a Cargo de la División de Estadísticas de la CEPAL
• Andrea Sanhueza, Oficial de Asuntos Ambientales de la División de Desarrollo Sostenible y Asentamientos Humanos de la CEPAL, Secretaría del Acuerdo de Escazú
• Simone Cecchini, Director del Centro Latinoamericano y Caribeño de Demografía (CELADE)-División de Población de la CEPAL
• Silvia Saravia, Oficial de Asuntos Económicos de la División de Recursos Naturales de la CEPAL
• Alberto Arenas de Mesa, Director de la División de Desarrollo Social de la CEPAL

Comentarios:
• Antonia Orellana, Ministra de la Mujer y la Equidad de Género de Chile
• Vindhya Persaud, Ministra de Servicios Humanos y Seguridad Social de Guyana (virtual) 

12.00 a 13.00 horas Informe sobre el Fondo Regional de Apoyo a las Organizaciones y Movimientos de Mujeres y Feministas
• Informe de la Presidencia de la Junta Directiva del Fondo Regional, a cargo de Ayelén Mazzina, Ministra de las Mujeres, Géneros y Diversidad de la Argentina
• Informe de la Oficina Regional de las Américas y el Caribe de ONU-Mujeres, en su calidad de entidad administradora, a cargo de Cecilia Alemany, Directora Regional Adjunta para las Américas y el Caribe de ONU-Mujeres
• Rocío Rosero, integrante de la Coalición Nacional de Mujeres del Ecuador, en representación de organizaciones de mujeres y feministas (virtual) Intervenciones de las delegaciones
13.00 a 14.30 horas Receso
14.30 a 15.15 horas Iniciativa del pacto birregional por los cuidados entre América Latina y el Caribe y la Unión Europea
• María Cristina Perceval, Representante Especial para la Política Exterior Feminista del Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores, Comercio Internacional y Culto de la Argentina
• Irene Montero, Ministra de Igualdad del Gobierno de España
• Leire Pajín, Presidenta de la Fundación EU-LAC (por video)
• Lucy Garrido, Coordinadora de Cotidiano Mujer e integrante de la Articulación Feminista Marcosur Intervenciones de las delegaciones
15.15 a 17.00 horas Debate sobre los temas a tratar en la XVI Conferencia Regional sobre la Mujer de América Latina y el Caribe (México, 2025) Presenta: Ana Güezmes García, Directora de la División de Asuntos de Género de la CEPAL
Comentarios:
• Ayelén Mazzina, Ministra de las Mujeres, Géneros y Diversidad de la Argentina, país que ejerce la Presidencia de la Mesa Directiva de la Conferencia Regional sobre la Mujer de América Latina y el Caribe
• Nadine Gasman, Presidenta del Instituto Nacional de las Mujeres (INMUJERES) de México (virtual) Intervenciones de las delegaciones