Updated 1 week, 6 days ago

The daily Latin American heroine

A brief approach to this phenomenon yields surprising results. Just to mention Switzerland gave women their right to vote in 1971, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia only allowed women to vote in 2015, and exclusively in local elections. Comparing this with the New Zealand case, which authorized the female vote in 1893 - it was the first country to do so - we find that the question of women's rights has this characteristic: progress is remarkable but irregular and varies according to the countries.

It has been proven the most productive enterprises are mostly headed by women. Also those that more quickly reach the point of balance. Their dropout rate is always lower, up to 80%. This is not only repeated in almost all Latin American countries, but also in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and in the still incipient projects that are taking place in Africa. Another particular tendency to these convulsive times is unavoidable: women are less prone to corruption than men; And make more rational use of the resources they must manage. These are statements that are supported by statistics.

But there are still more opportunities and possibilities to work on with policies of economic empowerment for women, particularly in Latin America and underdeveloped in general. World Bank studies reveal that in many of these countries the number of women who are marginalized from the productive system, as well as girls excluded from the education system, is still very high. The explanation has, of course, cultural roots. But economists agree that an aggressive investment in policies for educational inclusion and women's economic empowerment (among other formulas, through micro-entrepreneurship) could even double the margins of economic growth in this set of countries, while helping to close the gap of inequalities. It is not a secret that, for example, Latin America would have to sustain levels of economic growth of more than 7% and 8% per year, for two or three decades, in order to significantly reduce poverty and achieve levels of development comparable to those of Nations of the OECD, with which we would historically and culturally compare.

One of the painful and poignant signs of this problem in the Latin American environment are the millions of women who live alone with their children; And who make the admirable effort to educate them and to work to feed them and lead them to a condition of progress and well-being. To imagine the dimension of the problem, it is good to remember that in Latin America 30% of women are mothers before the age of 20 and only 46% have their children in the framework of a legally established marriage, understanding that this reality is concentrated in homes in Situation of poverty. It is one of the highest forms of daily heroism, which does not always get the recognition it deserves. There is a loving feminine stubbornness capable of struggling difficulties and winning them well.

According to ECLAC figures, by the end of 2016 Latin Americans added up to the immense figure of 625 million, with a clear inclination in favor of women: they are 323 million, while men are 302 million. Of the total number of women, about 70% are over 18, approximately 200 million. Well, according to estimates from several specialized agencies, one in three women suffers some kind of mistreatment by their partner: verbal, psychological, sexual or physical. Worse still, according to the World Health Organization, 38% of women killed under the hands of their partners or ex-partners. The question is inevitable: how can this continue to occur? The same is true of our Latin American population in the United States, where unacceptable situations against the integrity of women continue to occur.

At the same time, there is the question of inequality in wages. Although there are more than 80 countries with explicit laws in this regard, that is, they establish criteria of equality in the payment to their workers, regardless of whether they are women or men, the truth is that the gap still exists, even in the highest Charges, which sometimes reach a disparity between 30% and 35%. The definitive eradication of this inequality is not only beneficial for the justice that it entails, but for its directly economic benefits. According to Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook, if women access the same levels of men's pay, competition will increase, bringing innovation and productivity to new records.