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The United Nations Changes its Strategy for Gender Equality

UN Women has renewed its strategic plan towards the fulfillment of the SDGs and the achievement of effective rights for women and girls and gender equality.

International Women's Day, March 8, is a day in which the political, economic, social and cultural achievements of women are celebrated worldwide. However, above all it is a day to call attention to the need to accelerate processes that promote gender equality and the rights of women and girls.

The COVID-19 pandemic has deepened and evidenced that there are strong gaps between the rights of men and women, and that the latter continue to be more vulnerable to situations that threaten their dignity. In general, during the last years, gender-based violence has increased in the world. Likewise, during 2020, at least 4,091 women were victims of femicide in Latin America, according to the ECLAC Gender Equality Observatory for Latin America and the Caribbean.

Violence against women is, in itself, a pandemic that urgently needs to be stopped. In this regard, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization, has pointed out that: "We do not have vaccines to stop it and we will only be able to face it if governments, communities and people adopt measures and fully integrate them with in order to change harmful attitudes, improve access to opportunities”. On the other hand, recently even more emphasis has been placed on pointing out the importance of care work, which is mainly carried out by women and is not paid, although it determines the functioning of society.

UN Women strategic plan change

UN Women is the United Nations organization in charge of promoting gender equality and promoting the development of international regulations that improve the conditions of women and girls around the world. In this way, aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals, this organization guides many institutions and States on the priorities to work on gender issues.

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In this regard, this year is special, since a change has been made in the Strategic Plan, which will run from 2022 to 2025. The pandemic situation, in the midst of an emergency due to climate change, poses new challenges for achieving the objectives of genre. The balance made by the organization indicates that, despite progress in health and education in the last decade, progress in gender equality has been slow. Globally, less than two-thirds of women participate in the labor force, while men participate at close to 90 percent. These are figures that have not changed in 30 years. On the other hand, the document indicates that "only in the last year, 1 in 10 women over 15 years of age suffered sexual or physical violence."

In this regard, the organization has identified a number of priority issues. Financing to invest in projects that work for gender equity, and guarantees equal access for women to goods, services and resources is essential. There is also a need for "stronger global norms and standards on gender equality and women's empowerment, as well as more gender-sensitive laws, policies and institutions."

At this point, a call for real justice and non-impunity is key. In addition, the Organization has highlighted that it is a priority to include the participation of men and boys in projects with the community so that attitudes and practices that promote equality are adopted. In this sense, there is also a need for “greater numbers of women and girls to exercise their voice, agency and leadership”, and to be truly involved in decision-making.

On the other hand, an urgent issue is the gender approach to address climate change. For the celebration of International Women's Day 2022, the United Nations has promoted the motto "Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow". It is this population group that suffers the most from the impacts of the climate crisis and, therefore, women must get involved and be key figures to lead the solutions that mitigate and allow adaptation.

8M, a day to raise your voice

Given the recent events that have shocked Latin America, such as the rape of a woman by 6 men in Argentina, and the decriminalization of abortion in Colombia, feminist groups from the various countries of the continent have announced their return to the streets. After more than two years of sanitary restrictions, this 8M announces that it will be historic and fill the streets to ask for justice, reparation and equality for those who suffer from sexist violence. Thus, the streets will be filled with purple, green and white, the colors that symbolize International Women's Day.

From the official organization of International Women's Day, the theme for the 2022 celebration has the motto #BreakTheBias, a call to break gender-based stereotypes and prejudices.

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