"In a context of development crisis that deepens the structural knots of gender inequality, we must act with a sense of urgency and generate a common vision," said the Director of the Division for Gender Affairs, Ana Güezmes, at the closing activity of the Chile Youth, Feminism and Memory project, which was held in the framework of the Pacific Alliance Youth Volunteer Program, on August 18, 2023, at ECLAC headquarters in Santiago, Chile.
The Director valued the project, which seeks to contribute to the integration of young people in the Pacific Alliance and to highlight the historical memory of women social leaders in the last 50 years, and emphasized the need to build bridges and generate intergenerational alliances and between countries to build a common future with equality and sustainability at the center.
In all areas of development, inequality gaps persist that manifest themselves in serious obstacles to autonomy of young women, such as child marriage, which affects one in five girls in the region, the overburden of unpaid domestic and care work, and gender gaps in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. "We need to raise the level of ambition and have faster results, to build democratic, inclusive, diverse and feminist societies. In this context, the role of youth is more fundamental than ever," she stressed, and highlighted ECLAC's systematic commitment to include the voice and representation of youth in ECLAC's subsidiary bodies, including the Regional Conference on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Likewise, Güezmes reiterated the call to move towards the care society, as a courageous and civilizing response to the development crisis, which comes from the contribution of feminist economics, and indigenous and afro-descendant peoples with the principle of good living. "It is a new organization of society that focuses on the care of people who require care, on the care of those who care, on self-care, and on the care of the planet (...) Also, it recognizes that from an intersectional view it is necessary to overcome gender inequalities in the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development," she pointed out.
The Director concluded her speech by emphasizing that "at ECLAC, we are convinced that the care society is the transformational change we need to build a new development pattern that puts equality and sustainability on the center".
The activity was inaugurated by Juan Pablo Duhalde, National Director of the National Youth Institute of Chile, and was moderated by Pía Ibarra, National Volunteer and Emergency Coordinator of the same institution. Volunteers from the Chile Project "Youth, Feminism and Memory" also participated, presenting their testimonies within the framework of this initiative, as well as representatives of UN Women, who gave a presentation on sustainable development from a gender perspective. Also in attendance were representatives of the Chilean Ministry of Social Development and Family, the Chilean Cooperation Agency for Development of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Undersecretariat for International Economic Relations, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the Municipality of Peñalolén, CONFECH, USACH, the Telefónica Foundation, the PRODEMU Foundation, the Tremendas Foundation, the Chilean Volunteer Network, the Colunga Foundation, and the Regional Directorate of INJUV in Coquimbo and Maule.
More information about the Pacific Alliance Youth Volunteer Program is available at https://voluntariado.alianzapacifico.net/
Information on the Chile Project "Youth, Feminism and Memory" available at: https://voluntariado.alianzapacifico.net/Proyecto%20Chile%20VAP%202023.pdf