UN Women opened the first of six regional centers, in Panama for the Latin America and the Caribbean region, which will coordinate its efforts in the region to promote gender equity and empowerment of women.
27 October 2011: UN Women has opened a Regional Center for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) in Panama City, Panama. The LAC Center is the first of six planned regional centers.
UN Women Deputy Executive Director John Hendra said at the opening, on 26 October 2011, that the Center will: play a major role “in strengthening coordination, coherence and accountability of the UN system on gender equality and empowerment,” in order to support implementation of the UN Women Strategic Plan for 2011-2013; build strategic alliances with a wide range of actors within the region; and support the leadership and knowledge management of UN Women’s national presence and provide it with technical and institutional support.
Recently, UN Women received EUR450,000 from the Basque Government to promote political participation of women and gender-oriented budgeting in LAC. The UN General Assembly (UNGA) mandated the creation of UN Women in July 2010 through the merger of four UN institutions dealing with gender equality and empowerment of women. UN Women has identified five priority area for working with women: political leadership and participation; gender violence; economic empowerment; the participation of women in efforts to promote peace in countries in conflict; and support for national and local governments in formulating budgets and programs with a gender focus.