Saturday, April 1, 2023

Inclusion and equality, women’s demands for the Ibero-American Summit

Women in Ibero-America continue to conquer spaces both publicly and privately, but there is still a long way to go to achieve inclusion and equality, two issues that will be brought to the Ibero-American Summit of Heads of State and Government to be held in Santo Domingo in March.

This was stated this Wednesday in an interview with EFE by the Minister for Women of the Dominican Republic, Mayra Jiménez, stressing that “inclusion is closely linked to democracy.”

“We cannot think of full democracy if there is no opportunity for women to participate in all the spaces that correspond to them,” said Jiménez on the eve of the celebration in the Dominican capital of the IV Ibero-American Gender Conference, whose last edition took place in 2011.

Jiménez’s aspiration is that “there be a greater commitment to inclusion”, an issue that will be reflected in the statement that they will issue on Friday at the close of the meeting and that they will deliver to the heads of State and Government attending the March summit, an appointment at the highest level that will focus on issues such as equity and sustainability.

“Men cannot continue occupying the positions that correspond to us,” the Dominican minister emphatically stated, adding that “there cannot be full development if half of the population is occupying the space that corresponds to it” to the other half.


The main issues of the meeting these days will be inclusion and democracy and, in it, heads of the Ministries of Women and Gender of Ibero-America and experts will also address the prevention of sexist violence and female empowerment.

“These are central issues for the future of women in these countries” in Latin America, a region where, Jiménez pointed out, there has been progress regarding women’s rights.

However, he stressed, “we cannot deny that we have very important challenges.”

In addition to Jiménez, the Ibero-American Secretary General, Andrés Allamand; the Secretary of State for Equality and Against Gender Violence of Spain, Ángela Rodríguez, the former Vice President of Costa Rica Epsy Campbell and the regional director of UN Women for Latin America and the Caribbean, María Noel Vaeza.


Violence against women is a “serious” issue in Latin America, despite the fact that most countries in the region have regulations to prevent and punish this scourge.

Jiménez made special reference to the Dominican Republic, one of the most dangerous countries in Latin America for women.

An average of 130 women were murdered by their partner or ex-partner in the last fifteen years.

There was a decrease in 2022, but the latest femicides, however, are increasingly “atrocious”, acknowledged the minister, who took office in August 2020.

Victims continue to be counted “as a product of that macho culture that makes men feel that they are the owners of women for the fact that they have started a relationship,” Jiménez denounced.

In this sense, he proposed “educating from schools to transform the macho culture.”

In his opinion, “equality and equity cannot be outside the issues that boys and girls receive from the time they start their schooling until they finish it.”


Another of the issues that will be discussed at the meeting on Thursday and Friday and that will be taken to the Ibero-American summit is that of economic autonomy, which helps to close the gender gap.

One of the claims, she explained, will be to guarantee “decent” jobs and wages, which contribute to the empowerment of women.

Jiménez is in favor of regional collaboration to address all these issues, since there are “good experiences” in countries such as Argentina, Chile or Mexico.

“It is not the same for women to push together than to do it individually,” she stressed.


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