The XIV Regional Conference on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean convened ahead of CSW 64 and the Beijing+25.
The Regional Conference served to review progress towards the Montevideo Strategy for Implementation of the Regional Gender Agenda within the Sustainable Development Framework by 2030, and identify barriers to progress.
It concluded with countries’ approval of the Santiago Commitment outlining 48 means by which countries will accelerate implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action.
Countries in Latin America and the Caribbean approved a commitment to 48 ways of accelerating implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action and the Regional Gender Agenda.
The XIV Regional Conference on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean took place in Santiago, Chile from 27-31 January 2020, ahead of the 64th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) and the 25th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women (Beijing+25), and its Beijing Platform for Action. This year’s CSW session will conduct a review of progress towards the action platform.
The Regional Conference served to review progress towards the Montevideo Strategy for Implementation of the Regional Gender Agenda within the Sustainable Development Framework by 2030, adopted in 2016 at the XIII Regional Conference, and identify barriers to progress.
Without closing the social, economic and political gaps that still affect women, we will not be able to cross the threshold of sustainable development.
During the Conference, the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) launched a regional progress report that identifies hurdles to achieving gender equality in the region. The Regional Progress Report on the Montevideo Strategy, the first of its kind, recognizes successes towards achieving gender equality in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region to date. It also finds that as LAC governments prepare for Beijing+25, challenges include 1) the sheer magnitude of gender inequalities in the region and the limited State capacities available to address the issue; 2) lack of disaggregated data to analyze the issue; 3) the fact that gender inequalities manifest themselves at international, regional, national and subnational levels, and coordination is needed to renew and implement public policy across governance levels; and 4) the need to increase the budgets allotted to gender equality policies.
The Conference concluded with countries’ approval of the Santiago Commitment. The Commitment’s 48 points outline the means by which countries will accelerate implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action. It welcomes the Regional Progress Report and reaffirms the commitments made in Beijing in 1995. The Commitment encourages countries to foster and promote public polices on various dimensions of gender equality including education, representation, labor participation, to measure the multiplier effects of boosting the care economy and strengthen the production of gender statistics at the national level, and to voluntarily report on progress.
At the Regional Conference’s closing session, ECLAC Executive Secretary Alicia Bárcena said it is time to “put an end to patriarchy as a societal model.” Isabel Plá, Chile’s Minister of Women’s Affairs and Gender Equity, emphasized that “without closing the social, economic and political gaps that still affect women, we will not be able to cross the threshold of sustainable development.” The next session of the Regional Conference on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean is planned to be held in Argentina, in 2022.
Other regions have also affirmed commitments ahead of Beijing+25. UN Member States in the Asia-Pacific and Arab Regions committed to accelerate and intensify actions toward gender equality, at meetings organized in November 2019 by UN Women and the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia-Pacific (ESCAP), as well as the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), which resulted in respective declarations on progress.
In Europe, the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) held a review meeting from 29-30 October 2019, in Geneva, Switzerland, co-hosted with the UN Women Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia. In Africa, a regional review took place from 27 October to 1 November 2019, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, co-organized by the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), UN Women and the African Union Commission (AUC). SDG Knowledge Hub coverage on the European and African meetings is available here.
Looking ahead, the UN General Assembly (UNGA) agreed to convene a high-level meeting in September 2020 on the theme, ‘Accelerating the realization of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls,’ to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women. [ECLAC press release, 31 January] [ECLAC press release, 29 January]