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ECLAC Promotes Labour Equality to Strengthen Women's Autonomy in the Region

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12 July 2010|Press Release

Government officials, experts and representatives of civil society will meet on 13-16 July to discuss public policies for gender equality.

(5 July 2010) Labour is at the base of gender equality, and to achieve it women need to attain their economic, physical and political autonomy, states the documentWhat kind of State? What kind of equality?  to be submitted by ECLAC to delegates to the Eleventh Regional Conference on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The conference, the most important inter-governmental forum in the region to discuss public policies for gender equality, will be held 13-16 July in Brasilia, Brazil.

Some 800 people are expected to attend, among them Heads of State, government ministers and representatives of international organizations and civil society.

The Regional Conference on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean is a subsidiary body of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) convened every three years. Its main objectives are to serve as a forum of discussion on gender issues, present public policy recommendations and assess the compliance of regional agreements and plans under the perspective of women's needs.

During the Eleventh Conference, ECLAC will present the documentWhat kind of State? What kind of equality?, which examines the progress and challenges faced by governments in the region to achieve gender equality.

The report asserts that attaining labour equality for women will not be possible unless countries resolve the issue of women's unpaid workload and the caregiving role assigned to them throughout history, by recreating a new equation between the State, the market and the family.

Studies that measure men's and women's total workload (paid and unpaid) in several countries in the region have revealed two basic trends, says the document. One is that in every case, the total work burden is greater for women than for men; the second is that also in every case, it is women who spend most of their time on unpaid work.

The report suggests three basic areas to work towards gender equality:

  • Legislative, emphasizing the entitlement of rights for women and men
  • Economic, defining what kind of macroeconomy is needed to achieve equality
  • Political, what type of State is required for a country to "equalize to grow and grow to equalize"

The Eleventh Regional Conference on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean will take place at the Hotel Royal Tulip Brasilia Alvorada and will be inaugurated on Tuesday, 13 July at 10 a.m. by ECLAC Executive Secretary Alicia Bárcena. The President of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, and several female Latin American Heads of State are expected to attend.

A high-level panel will be held afterwards in which Bárcena will present the main working document and former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet will deliver a master lecture.

The closing session of the Conference will take place on Friday, 16 July, with the presentation of the Consensus of Brasilia containing the agreements and commitments of governments and the future agenda for action.


The media is welcome to attend the Eleventh Regional Conference on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Further information on media registration and the Conference in general is available on the ECLAC webpage.

P For enquiries, please contact ECLAC's Public Information and Web Services Section. Email:; telephone: (56-2) 210-2040/2149.