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The Buenos Aires Commitment, Point of Arrival and Point of Departure

27 February 2023|Briefing note

ECLAC Member and Associate Member States reaffirmed their commitment to implement public policies to transition towards a care society oriented towards the sustainability of life and gender equality. The ECLAC members made this commitment in the Agreement signed on February 9, within the framework of the 64th Meeting of the Presiding Officers of the Regional Conference on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The Agreement was a follow-up to the Buenos Aires Commitment, adopted at the XV Regional Conference on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean. In this intergovernmental forum, countries were emphatic about the need to "adopt regulatory frameworks that guarantee the right to care through the implementation of comprehensive care policies and systems from the gender, intersectionality, intercultural and human rights perspectives".

Care at the Heart of the New Development Pattern

The Buenos Aires Commitment places care at the center of a new development pattern that prioritizes the sustainability of life and the planet as the path to a transformative recovery with gender equality. In addition, it recognizes the right of people to care for others, to be cared for and to exercise self-care.

This call to action arises from a 45-year process in which care has gained increasing importance in the Regional Gender Agenda. In the region, the current sexual division of labour, based on the reproduction of gender stereotypes, affects women and girls lives negatively. Time use measurements show that women spend almost three times as much time on unpaid domestic and care work as men.

The issue of care is particularly relevant in the context of the cascading crisis facing the region, which encompasses the economic, social and environmental, food, education and care dimensions, and demands urgent responses from decision-makers. It is time to adopt transformational changes, as proposed by the care society.

The Buenos Aires Commitment - A Roadmap to the Care Society

The Buenos Aires Commitment is the roadmap for promoting comprehensive care policies and systems, decent employment and the full and equal participation of women in leadership positions and strategic sectors of the economy. Therefore, it is also a starting point for moving towards a fair social organization of care within the framework of a new development pattern that promotes gender equality in the economic, social and environmental dimensions. At the same time, it is a proposal to increase women's participation in the labour force, strengthen their autonomy and move towards a care society.

Within the framework of the 64th Meeting of Presiding Officers, government representatives welcomed the Declaration by Ministers and High-Level Authorities of the National Machineries for the Advancement of Women of Latin America and the Caribbean. They requested the Government of Argentina, in its capacity as Vice-Chair of the Commission on the Status of Women representing the Group of Latin American and Caribbean States, to present this Declaration at the 67th session of the Commission (CSW67).

The Declaration also addresses another of the contents of the Buenos Aires Commitment: the urgency of taking measures to reduce the gender digital divide. These measures refer both to the use, appropriation and development of technologies by women, and to the promotion of women's participation in careers related to science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Precisely, "Innovation and technological change, and education in the digital age for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls” is the priority theme of the CSW67. The Buenos Aires Commitment is key to making progress in this regard.