How do the institutions in charge of closing the gender gap are standing?

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In the midst of the struggle to reduce the inequality gap between men and women, a study revealed the role of some institutions in the region

How do the institutions in charge of closing the gender gap are standing?

According to the report Challenges and Opportunities of the Institutions in Charge of Closing the Gap of Inequality between Men and Women in Latin America: A Look Through Transparency , Carried Out by the Feminist Regional Articulation, conformed in its turn by various organizations of 6 Latin American countries, "the institutional responsibilities that States have, in order to close the inequality gap, became evident".

Leer en español: ¿Cómo van las instituciones encargadas de cerrar la brecha de género?

The main objective of the study was "to obtain information on the actions that are carried out in the different countries to close the gender gap and know their institutional strength". In this way and in the hand of the objectives set out in the 2030 Agenda, within which it is intended "to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls", according to the official website of the Spanish Government; the report seeks to observe if the policies that are taken are according to what was stated .

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Although there are 7 countries that are part of the Feminine Regional Articulation, the study was only carried out in 6 of these. Thus, information was obtained from the institutions responsible for helping to reduce the inequality gap. The countries and institutions were:

  • Argentina: National Institute of Women (INAM)
  • Bolivia: Vice Ministry of Equal Opportunities
  • Chile: Ministry of Women and Gender Equity
  • Colombia: Presidential Counseling for the Equity of Women
  • Mexico: National Institute for Women (INMUJERES)
  • Peru: Ministry of Women and Vulnerable Populations

What the report left

Although these institutions would have to respond to the objectives of the 2030 Agenda, the study found several shortcomings in terms of public policies . For example, there is no clarity as to whether the institution only looks after the rights of women or includes other aspects. Cases such as Argentina, Colombia and Mexico do; but in the case of Peru, not because not only women's issues are addressed, but also children, adolescents, indigenous people, among others.

On the other hand, it presents a problem to see which entity does it depends on, since if they do it on the presidency, there are struggles for the allocation of a budget that does not interfere with the government. But if they are independent, they have to be strong enough and have to have effective communication so that their policies work in "all the areas in which the State operates".

In addition, however basic it may sound, it must have clear and established objectives and functions. This is mentioned, because the Colombian institution has neither clear nor explicit what its objectives are. In the same way, the functions have to be clarified, because although they are named (support, promote, etc), they cannot be followed up to guarantee that they are actually being met . Then, to the above, is added the need to create methods to evaluate the fulfillment of the objectives.

Finally, it is also necessary to pay attention to the people who will aspire to a position within the institution. Mexico, for example, is the only one that has certain specific requirements when applying for office. At this point it is important that applicants have experience in gender issues and human rights.


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So, what is the balance?

The failures of the institutions are not only given by what was described above, but also respond to the lack of interest and commitment of some governments, which do not see necessary to carefully monitor these institutions. In addition, traditionalist organizations that oppose any change should not be left out, even for the sake of women's rights.

On the other hand, not only is it enough for these institutions to focus on women, it is necessary to have a broad enough focus, as it allows "to analyze gender in a multidimensional manner and its intersection with other concepts, such as sexual orientation. and gender identity, among other identity characteristics ".

Finally, these institutions have to have clear objectives so that the organizations take on sufficient strength and importance, fundamental within the framework of the 2030 Agenda. Thus, the institutions focused on reducing the inequality gap, still have a way to go in our region.


LatinAmerican Post | Laura Viviana Guevara Muñoz

Translated from "¿Cómo van las instituciones encargadas de cerrar la brecha de género?"