60th Meeting of the Presiding Officers of the Regional Conference on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean

Authorities from the region, international officials and feminist organizations participated in the 60th Meeting of the Presiding Officers of the Regional Conference on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean, organized by ECLAC, which holds the Conference’s Secretariat, in coordination with UN Women.

At the three-day meeting, speakers included the Vice Presidents of Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Uruguay, the Foreign Ministers of Chile and Panama, Women’s Affairs Ministers and other authorities from mechanisms for women’s advancement, in addition to international officials and representatives of women’s and feminist organizations, Afro-descendent and indigenous women’s organizations and movements, and of civil society more generally. In total, representatives from 34 Member States of ECLAC participated, along with 10 associate members, 16 agencies, funds and programs, 5 intergovernmental bodies and around 260 civil society organizations.

Speaking at the opening session on 23 February were Alicia Bárcena, ECLAC’s Executive Secretary; María-Noel Vaeza, UN Women’s Regional Director for the Americas and the Caribbean; and Mónica Zalaquett, Minister of Women and Gender Equity of Chile, in her capacity as Chair of the Presiding Officers of the Regional Conference on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean. The segment also featured the special participation of Chile’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Andrés Allamand. Authorities coincided that women’s full digital inclusion and the forging of a care society are indispensable for an egalitarian and sustainable recovery.

The closing of the event featured the Executive Secretary of ECLAC, Regional Director of UN Women, the Minister of Gender of Equality of Chile and the President of Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.

In the gathering’s resolutions, authorities agreed to promote a Regional Partnership for the digitalization of women in Latin America and the Caribbean, led by Chile in its capacity as Chair of the Presiding Officers of the Regional Conference, with the goal of reducing gender gaps in information and communications technologies in terms of access, skills development and use by women and girls, and promoting women’s full participation in the digital economy. Furthermore, the Regional Fund in Support of Women’s and Feminists Organizations and Movements was set in motion, with initial contributions from Mexico and UN Women, the agency that will be in charge of administering the fund.

In closing, the authorities adopted a declaration that will be presented during the 65th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) and where they propose, among other things, to “redouble efforts and commitment to make gender parity a State policy and to ensure women’s equal access to decision-making positions in all branches and areas of the State, including the judiciary, and in national, subnational and local governments, through legislative and electoral initiatives and measures to ensure parity representation in all areas and levels of political power.”

News coverage of the event: Newsweek Español, UN News, Forbes Central America, EFE, France 24, Milenio, Prensa Latina, AristeguiNoticias, Europapress, Debate, AmericaEconomica, Proceso, Sputnik, Diario Uno, InfoNews, Sin Reservas, Radio Santiago, La Prensa, La Silla RotaLa Tercera