On November 7-11 of this year, Argentina will host the XV Regional Conference on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean, the central theme of which will be “The care society: a horizon for sustainable recovery with gender equality.” Participating in the ceremony to sign the host agreement – held today in Buenos Aires – were the Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Worship of Argentina, Santiago Cafiero; the Minister for Women, Gender and Diversity of Argentina, Elizabeth Gómez Alcorta; and the Acting Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Mario Cimoli.
“The Conference on Women is one of the most important intergovernmental bodies that we have at a regional level, and it is the main one on women’s rights. Today it moves forward in Argentina, with the signing of this host agreement with ECLAC. We are hoping for very high participation, with very strong political concretion through a progressive issue at the forefront, such as that of the care society, which is fundamental,” Mario Cimoli indicated.
ECLAC’s highest authority thanked Minister Gómez Alcorta and Foreign Minister Cafiero for hosting the 15th Regional Conference on Women in that country, as well as collaborating with Chile and UN Women. He mentioned Argentina as one of the leading countries in terms of care policies and referred to its role as host of the November gathering as an intergovernmental space for debating the recovery after a difficult crisis. Care is key to a recovery with equality and “it must be at the center of policies: those focused on employment, industry, growth promotion, economic policies and specific care-related ones,” he stated.
Minister Elizabeth Gómez Alcorta recalled that in January 2020, during the 14th Regional Conference on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean held in Chile, the possibility arose of Argentina hosting the 15th Regional Conference. Since then, she said, “we have made very substantial progress on the gender and diversity agenda. At that time we had plans, and today we have concrete policies and the preeminence of this shared issue: the care society. The introduction of the “Caring in Equality” bill to Congress is a reality today, and we have to have the approval of at least one chamber to welcome those who will be coming to the Regional Conference. As a government, we have made very substantial progress with concrete policies, particularly for moving towards the care society.”
Meanwhile, Argentina’s Foreign Minister, Santiago Cafiero, highlighted ECLAC’s leading role in public policy design in the region. He briefly reviewed the formulation of public policies with a gender perspective in his country, noting: “Crowning this path we have tread with the 15th Regional Conference on Women will give our country prestige, it will put it at the forefront of the discussion and of the region.”
The Regional Conference on Women is the region’s main intergovernmental forum on women’s rights and gender equality. It is organized by ECLAC, which serves as the Conference’s Secretariat, in coordination with the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women).
The Conference – which hosts a forum of feminist organizations – is one of the subsidiary bodies of ECLAC that prompts the most interest and participation by civil society. The agreements approved there nourish the Regional Gender Agenda, a progressive, innovative and advanced road map for guaranteeing the rights of women in all their diversity as well as gender equality.
After the host agreement was signed, there was a space for discussing the progress made on preparations for the gathering, with the participation of María Cristina Perceval, Secretary of Equality and Diversity Policies at the Ministry for Women, Gender and Diversity of Argentina; Cecilia Alemany, UN Women’s Deputy Regional Director for the Americas and the Caribbean and its acting Representative in Argentina; and Luz Vidal Huiriqueo, Undersecretary at the Ministry of Women and Gender Equity of Chile – the country that currently presides over the Regional Conference – who was joined by Bárbara Figueroa, Chile’s Ambassador to Argentina.
In this context, Luz Vidal Huiriqueo presented the agreement to hold an Extraordinary Presiding Officers’ meeting soon to commemorate the 45th anniversary of the Regional Gender Agenda, at ECLAC’s headquarters in Chile.