International Women’s Day is a fitting time to reflect upon all the progress that Latin America and the Caribbean has made on gender equality and how much more the region needs to do in order to achieve true parity between men and women.
Gender equality in an issue that concerns everybody due to its potential to build more prosperous economies and fairer societies. The region is already feeling the impact of growing women’s participation in the labor market, which has helped to dramatically reduce poverty over the past decade.
Women today account for between 30-60 percent of household incomes in our countries. Due to their increased access to education, nearly 23 percent of working women have attended university, compared with 16 percent for men. This is a key element for the future, because the accumulation of abilities is key to boost up economic growth.
At the same time, the region still has a long way to go – in spite of all the progress achieved, there still remain significant earning gaps between men and women performing similar tasks.
Although a growing number of companies recognize the benefits of diversity, less than 10 percent of executive jobs are filled by women. And despite campaigns against domestic violence, nearly 30 percent of women suffer abuse in the hands of their partners or relatives.
We at the IDB are committed to gender equality both within our organization and the projects we fund. We shall continue to do our utmost in order to build a Bank and a region that are truly “50-50,” with full parity between men and women, as advocated by UN Women around the world.
The Inter-American Development Bank is devoted to improving lives. Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source oflong-term financing for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean.The IDB also conducts cutting-edge research and provides policy advice, technical assistance and training to public and private sector clients throughout the region
- Valeria Pacheco