BOGOTA – Colombian Vice President Marta Lucia Ramirez said on Friday that the inadequacy of social protection for women in Latin American is “really worrying” and she urged countries in the region to implement new public policies.
“There is much work to be done defining public social security policies to ensure that the task of caring for and protecting (women) is recognized,” she said at the opening of the 2nd High-Level Meeting on Women’s Contribution to the 2030 Agenda.
Ramirez, the first woman to become vice president of Colombia, emphasized that in Latin America “discrimination is evident in the high rates of unemployment, labor and social protection gap, high domestic workload, more hours of work weekly and the high representation of women in the informal economy.”
She pointed out that 29 percent of women in Latin America do not have their own income, while 9 percent are unemployed.
Individual governments need to “analyze the compensation mechanisms that exist to understand how we can improve them,” the vice president said.
“It is a defining moment, where we can make a point of opening for the development of humanity,” she said in reference to the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.
The vice president said that Colombia’s “government wants to transform the history of women, which is why we are striving to accumulated goals achieved.”
All sectors should join forces to “work for the economic empowerment of women and girls, especially those who are in conditions of vulnerability,” Ramirez said.
Participants in the Bogota forum included the secretary-general of the Ibero-American Social Security Organization (OISS), Gina Riaño, and the vice presidents of Costa Rica, Epsy Campbell; the Dominican Republic, Margarita Cedeño; Panama, Isabel de Saint-Malo; and Guatemala, Jafeth Cabrera.
In its 2018 Global Gender Gap Report, the World Economic Forum ranked Latin America and the Caribbean third, with an average persisting gender gap of 29 percent.
Nicaragua led the region for the seventh year in a row, having closed more than 80 percent of its gender gap.
Among the larger economies in the Latin American and Caribbean, Argentina (36 percent) and Colombia (40 percent) remained the most gender-equal countries.