Source: 1804caribvoices: http://1804caribvoices.org/)
The first meeting of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean State’s (CELAC) working group on gender equality and women ended in San Salvador on Friday, August 22. The regional summit, “Promoting Equity, Equality and Empowerment of Women’s Lives in the New Development Agenda Post 2015″, opened on Thursday at El Salvador’s Foreign Relations Ministry.
The group analyzed the commitments expressed in the plan that were adopted in Havana, Cuba in January at the II CELAC Summit. At the event’s inauguration, the Foreign Minister Hugo Martinez recognized the importance of this opportunity to reflect on the advancement of gender equality and women’s participation. He also mentioned the importance of building societies that consolidate spaces promoting these values.
Martinez also advised that the CELAC should work on the existing challenges and goals laid out by the United Nations Millennium Development Goals for women and children.
Launch of EU CELAC Dialogue on Gender
In the framework of the bi-regional relationship CELAC-EU, the launch of the Dialogue on Gender, took place between 27 and 29 November in Buenos Aires.
The official launch started on 27 November with the participation of Eduardo Zuain, Foreign Affairs Secretary from Argentina; Silvina Zabala, Secretary at the Argentinian National Coordination Unit for Gender Violence; Roland Schäfer, Director for the Americas Department from the European External Action Service; and Gloria Bender, Special Representative for International Issues on Women, representing CELAC’s Pro-Tempore Presidency.
The days following were dedicated to technical workshops on violence against women and femicide carried out by experts from both regions.
Bettina Trueb, manager of Explore Programme, represented the EU-LAC Foundation during the three-day event, with a presentation during the opening of the workshops. Dr. Trueb stressed that the topic of gender is one key feature for equipping the bi-regional relationship with a truly strategic ethos, “Achieving gender equality is sine qua non for societies in both regions to address the future, and thus we should work together towards this end. (…) The participation of women in the labour market, in politics, and the fact that they can participate in society without fearing for their security are key pillars for sustainable development and for the economic success of our societies”.
Great potential for the exchange of experiences and best practices
Dr. Trueb concluded by underlining that there is a wealth of positive experiences and initiatives in countries from both regions with great potential for the exchange of experiences and best practices.
The EU-LAC Foundation, in coordination with institutions from both regions, has foreseen in its work programme, supporting the bi-regional process in the theme of Gender.
The theme of Gender, was introduced in the EU-CELAC Action Plan 2013-2015 in the last Summit of Heads of State and Government. It focused on three dimensions: political participation of women, violence against women, and economic empowerment of women.
From EU-CELAC ACTION PLAN 2013-2015 1
The main objective is to prioritize the gender issue in the context of bi-regional relations and underscore the political will in both regions to guarantee gender equality and the protection, exercise and promotion of women’s rights, including i) Political participation of women; ii) Elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls, including sexual violence; and iii) Economic empowerment of women and their participation in the world of work and in all decision-making processes.
- Create a bi-regional space for the exchange of experiences and cooperation on gender issues aimed at promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment in the different fields of the CELAC-EU dialogue.
* Cooperation activities and initiatives
- Promote the political and popular participation of women in terms ofequality.
- Promote actions to combat and eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls, through activities such as publishing gender educational programmes and manuals and standardising protocols of investigation to prosecute and punish the perpetrators, among other actions.
- Continue close cooperation at the UN, including for the forthcoming UN 57th Commission of the Status of Women and in the UN General Assembly.
- Promote the economic empowerment of women and their participation in the economy and paid labour markets, with social security and conditions of fairness, as well as to promote policies and laws to ensure equal pay for equal work.
- Identify the state of play of the main working topics in each region.
- Identify areas of exchange and cooperation for the creation of synergies and mutual learning to optimise existing practices and lessons learned in the area of gender mainstreaming in all public policies.
- Identify common areas to cooperate in technical assistance, training and exchange of experiences.
* Expected results
- Establishment of an intergovernmental bi-regional working group aimed at defining shared objectives. The main working topics at this first stage are:
- Political participation of women.
- Elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls .
- Economic empowerment of women and their participation in the world of work.
- Bi-regional seminar for the exchange of experiences on gender-based violence, to share best practices and the most effective measures to prevent and combat it.
- Promote concrete measures for the investigation of gender-based killing.
- Bi-regional seminar on “Economic empowerment of women and participation in the world of work”, for exchanging experiences and best practices in the field of education and training in ICT.
- Exchange of information, on a voluntary basis, regarding the state of art on gender policies, including equality and empowerment of women by countries.
- Bi-regional seminar with State representatives, which may include experts and women’s organizations, to exchange experiences on the achievements of peace, conflict resolution and participation of women in those processes, including the implementation of relevant resolutions of the UN General Assembly in this regard, as well as Resolution 1325. (Women – Peace and Security).
- Agreed language, when possible, to be used in common positions in international fora, especially resolutions to be negotiated at the UN General Assembly and the Commission on the Status of Women.
- CELAC concludes its meeting on gender equality and women’s participation today Telesur
- CELAC-EU Launch of EU – CELAC Dialogue on Gender
- ACTION PLAN 2013-2015
Source: 1804caribvoices: http://1804caribvoices.org/articles/2014/08/celac-gender-equality-and-womens-participation/
Photo: CELAC, Logo
Reproduction permitted if sources are cited and links to them provided