Representatives of Governments and organizations of the United Nations System called for the incorporation of the gender perspective in financing strategies to accelerate progress towards equality and sustainable development in the region.
During the event, experiences and initiatives promoted in different countries and cities of the region to include the gender perspective in financing were shared. Impacts and challenges for advancing gender equality, the empowerment and autonomy of women in the region in the context of the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic were also addressed. An exchange of strategies was also promoted to consider the care economy as a key driving sector for recovery with equality and promote strategic investments in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.
The opening session included an intervention by Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), who stressed that "ECLAC reiterates our invitation to implement a new fiscal pact with gender equality. A pact that ensures sufficient resources to finance key policies for women and that promotes fiscal measures aimed at protecting or facilitating their entry into employment" and concluded: "It is urgent to promote recovery plans with affirmative actions that foster comprehensive care systems, decent work and the full and effective participation of women in strategic sectors of the economy. There is an urgent need for a transformative recovery with gender equality aimed at sustainability".
During his speech, Luis Felipe López-Calva, Regional Director of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) highlighted the importance of financing as an engine of economic and social development necessary to fight against the obstacles that prevent women's full access to the labor market under conditions of equality: "There is no doubt that for a fair, inclusive, egalitarian and resilient economic recovery in the post-pandemic, more strategic investments in women are required; more private capital that complements public efforts with innovative financing instruments; more investments aimed at breaking down the structural barriers that prevent the full insertion of women into the labor market, including care and gender violence; and a stronger connection between advancing finance for equality and the broader financing agenda of the 2030 Agenda."
For María Noel Vaeza, Regional Director for the Americas and the Caribbean of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women), it is necessary to bet on the leading role of women: "It is clear that we need to have more women in the financial sector, in decision-making, as entrepreneurs, businesswomen, but also as investors. (...) We need more women expanding their businesses, innovating, incorporating technology and investing". In her speech she appealed to all actors: "(...)The importance of joining forces between our countries and their governments, the international financial system, multilateral banks, and international organizations to not allow the current economic and social crisis to put gender equality in the background".
Claudia López, Mayor of Bogota, Colombia, also participated and presented the experience of the Bogota District Care System, particularly in terms of its financing and fiscal sustainability. She explained that this system reorganizes care services with a focus on women in their diversity, especially those who work informally. It do so by creating and articulating services, modifying service hours to favor rest, education, and income generation for women. López stressed that they have sought to give political, institutional, and fiscal sustainability to the District System and that this was incorporated into the Development Plan and the Territorial Ordering Plan of Bogota, which determines the policies and investments for the next 15 years.
Mercedes D'Alessandro, National Director of Economy, Equality and Gender of the Ministry of Economy of the Argentinac, shared the progress and challenges in gender mainstreaming in the public budget. She highlighted that one of the first tasks of the new gender mechanism created in the Ministry of Economy was the preparation of the first budget from a gender perspective and that 15% of the 2021 budget was allocated to activities to close gender inequality gaps. In relation to the negotiation process of Argentina's debt restructuring agreement with the International Monetary Fund, D'Alessandro stressed that within the policies of growth and economic resilience, innovations aimed at strengthening the care infrastructure, the recognition, revaluation and formalization of these works, the employment of women in strategic sectors such as industry, technology, and construction, as well as the quantification of the proportion of the budget allocated to gender policies were incorporated.
The side event was organized jointly by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women) and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). It is part of the work articulated in the United Nations System to support efforts towards the implementation at the national, regional and international levels of the Financing Agenda for Development and the Sustainable Development Goals, in particular SDG 5 aimed at achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls.
Transmission of the Webinar "Financing for Gender Equality in the Framework of Sustainable Development".
Words by the Executive Secretary of ECLAC.
More information about the event.