As the XIV Regional Conference on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean approaches, UNDP and ECLAC cohosted an expert meeting on June 10th – 11th to discuss the future of work in the changing economic scenarios in Latin America and the structural barriers still present to achieve gender equality in the workplace in order to develop a framework for the way forward at regional level.
The meeting engaged prominent feminist economists, researchers and UN specialists from UNDP, ECLAC, UN Women, ILO and UNCTAD. During the meeting, experts addressed the challenges and opportunities that geopolitical, economic, technological, and demographic changes are posing to women’s labour and access to decent work.
Mario Castillo, Senior Economic Affairs Officer of the Gender Affairs Division of ECLAC, in his opening speech, pointed out that the current macroeconomic situation presents risks to the substantive advances achieved in terms of gender equality and that the possibility of setbacks calls for the need to consolidate the Regional Gender Agenda. Correspondingly, Eugenia Piza López, Regional Team Leader of the Gender Cluster for UNDP – Latin America and the Caribbean stressed the importance of addressing structural barriers present in the current economic model, urging participants to develop recommendations and present powerful proposals that can be adopted by governments of the region to achieve progress towards equality.
The gender dimensions of commercial and financial globalization, on the gender impacts of trade policies and of investment in the region were also analyzed, as well as the potential opportunities and challenges presented by the future of work, innovation, and the digital revolution.
Experts discussed how the approach and contribution of feminist economics in this changing macroeconomic context can offer alternatives to ensure inclusion and achieve the aim of the 2030 agenda of leaving no one behind.
Likewise, the care economy and how to finally incorporate it into macroeconomic policy was also an issue consistently addressed by most experts given its centrality to address women’s exclusion and inequality in labor markets.
Linked to this, the differentiated impacts of climate change on women in Latin America and the Caribbean were also investigated. Likewise, the environmental crisis and growing migratory movements in the region were analyzed from a gender perspective in order to acquire a broader view of how these trends impact different groups of women and in order to discuss the strategic priorities required to secure gains and move towards substantive equality.
The meeting led to a series of strategic recommendations which will be incorporated into the Position Paper to be used as the basis for the debates amongst Ministers of Women from the Region during the XIV Regional Conference on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean that will take place from November 4 to 8, 2019, at the headquarters of ECLAC in Santiago, Chile.