UN Women and CAF sign cooperation agreement
- UN Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet and CAF Executive President Enrique Garcia sign agreement in Brazil
- The purpose is to combat poverty in Latin America through initiatives that contribute to reducing inequality, adopting actions in favor of Latin American women.
(Río de Janeiro, 17 de junio de 2012) In recent years, Latin America has posted important achievements in poverty reduction; however, there is still a persistent social debt with regard to the levels of inequality. In this sense, and clearly aware of the importance of incorporating a gender perspective in the reduction of wealth gaps, CAF – Latin American development bank – and UN Women signed an agreement with an aim at strengthening the work developed by both organizations in this area.
The agreement was signed by Michelle Bachelet, former Chilean President and Executive Director of UN Women, and Enrique Garcia, Executive President of CAF.
Michelle Bachelet highlighted that in Latin America “poverty has the face of women and children. ECLAC has indicated that poverty is 1.15 times higher among women than men and the feminization of poverty has led to an increasing material impoverishment of women, a worsening in their living standards and the infringement of their fundamental rights.”
She added that the importance of the agreement with CAF is that it will allow to “set in motion programmes to support women, particularly in the establishment of small and medium enterprises, access to microcredit and financial literacy, so they themselves can be agents in the fight against exclusion”. She noted that women’s economic empowerment is one of UN Women’s strategic focus areas.
For his part, Enrique Garcia declared that “the agreement we are signing is inserted in CAF’s strategy of promoting initiatives that foster greater equality and social inclusion with a gender focus, either through the generation of knowledge or through direct work with women, to reinforce their social, human and productive capital.”
CAF’s Executive President also underscored: “In this way, we hope to contribute to the creation of new opportunities and the reduction of poverty in Latin America.”
Research conducted in the region has demonstrated that households that have not been able to overcome poverty are mostly headed by women.
The agreement will boost the comprehensive development of projects that incorporate gender equality within the social, environmental and productive dimensions, particularly in the most vulnerable sectors.
These proposals are within the framework of the strategic alliance between UN Women and CAF to generate synergy among the public and private sector, multilateral cooperation and civil society, with the purpose of attaining the objective of improving the quality of life of Latin Americans, particularly those most vulnerable.
UN Women is the United Nations’ new entity for gender equality and the empowerment of women. Its first Executive Director is Michelle Bachelet, former President of Chile. Created in 2010 with the unanimous support of all member States of the United Nations, it became operational in 2011 and currently develops a strategic plan with 5 priority focus areas: eradicating violence against women; increasing women’s political participation and leadership, strengthening women’s economic empowerment; fostering women’s increased participation in peace processes and the political transitions in countries in conflict and post-conflict environments and cooperating with governments in incorporating gender into their programmes and budgets. To achieve these goals, UN Women works with governments, Parliaments, women’s organizations, the academia and the private sector, among others.