Empowering Women in Latin America
JOINT INTERVIEW Expertise France’s action reflects France’s “feminist diplomacy.” In Latin America, the agency has been supporting women’s empowerment through the EUROsociAL+ program since 2016.
With MONICA BOTTERO,
Director of the National Women’s Institute (Uruguay)
and KATIA HERON,
General Secretary of the National Woman’s Institute (Panama)
How can women be economically empowered in Latin America?
M.B. In Uruguay, Latin America, and a large part of the Western world, the massive integration of women into the workforce since the mid-twentieth century complicated the care issue. Some call it “work-life balance,” others the “co-responsibility between men and women.” I think this is the great challenge we must face to reach true equality in terms of economic empowerment.
K.H. In Panama, we are implementing initiatives through a vast program called “Women, change your life.” We are currently working on three complementary projects: Custodians of the Seeds, Bakery in your Building, and Women, Guides in the Land. Our objective is to encourage rural women, female farmhands, and Afro-Caribbean and indigenous women to change their lives.
The Two Continents United for Equality Forum held in Paris on March 4, 2022, was organized through EUROsociAL+.
What is the added value of EUROsociAL+ for your respective projects?
M.B. This European program has been a great ally for the Women’s Institute of Uruguay. It has helped us improve and optimize our response to gender-based violence. We worked on treatments for men responsible for assaults on women. One of our technical coordinators received specific training in Europe. We also developed courses dedicated to the electronic bracelet system, which Uruguay implemented to prevent gender-based violence. In this domain, EUROsociAL+ has been instrumental.
K.H. Thanks to the support of EUROsociAL+, Panama’s Ministry of Social Development issued awareness booklets aimed at teenagers of both genders. Handed out in schools, these guidelines help them grasp what they should do to avoid teenage pregnancies, a common problem in our country.
The care issue is the great challenge we must face to achieve real equality between men and women.
Interview conducted in March 2022 during the Two Continents United for Equality Forum in Paris. Initiated by Elisabeth Moreno, the then French Minister for Equality between Women and Men, Diversity and Equality of Chances, this high-level event was organized by Expertise France in the context of EUROsociAL+ during France’s EU presidency.
Achieving SDG 5
Expertise France is committed to the Gender Equality sustainable development goal. The agency mainstreams gender equality into all its areas of action and at every stage of its projects’ development. It is a necessary condition to respond to the Sustainable Development Goals.