Updated January 11, 2002

Gender Equality
For more information on activities in the area of Gender Equality, 
see the following Web Sites:

Gender Equality mandates from the
Third Summit of the Americas

XXXI OAS General Assembly
San José, Costa Rica, June 3-5, 2001

      During the General Assembly the following resolutions were approved:

  • AG/RES. 1768 (XXXI-O/01) Second Biennial Report on Compliance with Resolution AG/RES. 1456 (XXVII-O/97), Promotion of the Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment, and Eradication of Violence against Women, 'Convention of Belém do Para'

    A Resolution through which satisfaction is expressed for the advances made by CIM and the Member States in the promotion of the Convention of Belém do Pará and the execution of its objectives. It also encourages governments that have not already done so to ratify the Convention, urging all Member States to continue promoting measures for the prevention, sanction and eradication of violence against all women in the hemisphere.

  • AG/RES. 1777 (XXXI-O/01) Implementation of the Inter-American Program on the Promotion of Women's Human Rights and Gender Equity and Equality

    This Resolution seeks to reaffirm governments' commitments to integrate a gender perspective into their national programs and policies. It also urges the Secretary General to continue promoting the incorporation of a gender perspective as an integral part of the OAS' activities, policies, programs, projects and agendas.

  • AG/RES. 1790 (XXXI-O/01) Appointment of Women to Senior Management Positions at the OAS

    This Resolution urges the Secretary General to reaffirm the objective to achieve, before the end of 2005, that women occupy 50 percent of the positions in all areas of the OAS system. The Secretary General is also asked to continue making gender equality a top priority in the Secretariat's continued efforts to establish a new management culture in the Organization.


    Follow Up to Gender Equality Mandates

Meeting of the Follow Up to the Inter-American Program on the Promotion of Women’s Human Rights and Gender Equity and Equality 

The meeting of the Follow Up to the Inter-American Program on the Promotion of Women’s Human Rights and Gender Equity and Equality (SEPIA I, Gender and Labor) was held December 11 and 12, 2002, in Washington, D.C.  The purpose of this meeting of experts in gender and labor, comprised of government and civil society representatives, was to analyze the Declaration and Plan of Action of the XII Inter-American Conference of  Ministers of Labor  for the inclusion of a gender perspective, identify areas lacking this perspective and suggest strategies to promote its inclusion. 

An initial draft containing recommendations on the incorporation of the gender perspective into the programs and policies of the Ministries of Labor had been presented to the Ministers of Labor when they met in Ottawa in October 2001.  

The meeting concluded with proposals for the institutionalization of the gender perspective; research and studies; training; reviewing, strengthening and enforcing rules; and several general recommendations.  For more details, please visit the CIM web site at www.oas.org/cim.

Third Regular Session of the Executive Committee of the CIM

The Third Regular Session of the Executive Committee of the Inter-American Commission of Women (CIM) was held December 13, 2001, in Washington, D.C.  The Executive Committee met to review ongoing work as well as their plan for the future.  Delegates were given reports on the status of the project regarding the trafficking of women and children for sexual exploitation; the follow-up to the Convention of Belém do Para on Violence in the Americas; and the Inter-American Program on the Promotion of Women’s Human Rights and Gender Equity and Equality.  The CIM Permanent Secretariat presented its Activity Report for the period of July-November 2001.  Delegates also considered the preliminary agenda for the Thirty-first Assembly of Delegates of the CIM, to be held in November 2002.  The next meeting of the Executive Committee will be held February 21-22, 2002.

Violence in the Americas - Central America, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Panama

As part of a regional effort to analyze the progress made and challenges confronted in combating violence against women in the Americas, over 200 experts from Central America, Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Panama met in Panama on August 27-28, 2001, in a meeting convened by the Inter-American Commission on Women (CIM). This meeting is a continuation of those that have already taken place in South America.

At the meeting, participants studied the evolution of regional indicators of violence against women since the approval of the Convention of Belém do Pará in 1994. According to the experts, there was an increase in the violence statistics that can be attributed to the increase in mechanisms through which women can file complaints. But more resources to combat this violence is needed, and participants therefore agreed to ask their countries for greater funding to help in this area. They also agreed to work to make the fight against violence a State policy.

A full analysis of the advances and impact of the Convention of Belém do Pará will be presented next year by the CIM to the Permanent Council, and then the General Assembly, of the OAS.

The next meeting of this kind will take place in the Caribbean in February, 2002.

Seminar on Women, Poverty and Human Rights 

On August 22, 2001, Miguel Angel Rodríguez, the President of Costa Rica, inaugurated the three-day seminar, “Women, Poverty and Human Rights: in Their Own Words,” which was organized by several groups, including the Instituto Mixto de Ayuda Social, Costa Rica’s Ministry on the Condition of Women, the OAS and the OAS Social Network of Latin America and the Caribbean.  During the meeting, participants, which included public authorities and representatives on women’s issues and on the Welfare system from seventeen countries, considered a diverse agenda and discussed a series of projects destined to improve the situation of women in the hemisphere.

Second Session of the CIM Executive Committee

On July 19-20, 2001, CIM authorities, government delegates and representatives of specialized organizations met in Washington, DC. During the meeting, participants expressed the importance of incorporating a gender perspective into all economic, political and social activities and raising awareness on the discriminatory and abusive situations that various women throughout the hemisphere have to deal with. The group also recognized the work that CIM has accomplished in these tasks.

At the meeting, CIM presented its report on the advances made in the implementation of the Inter-American Program on the Promotion of Women’s Human Rights and Gender Equity and Equality (PIA) and in the development of three important projects: Violence in the Americas; the Trafficking of Women and Children for Sexual Exploitation in the Americas; and the Business Leadership Training Program. The CIM Executive Committee expressed its satisfaction on the approval of the "Project for the Incorporation of a Gender Perspective in the OAS – Strategy for its Implementation," which is financed by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).

The Incorporation of Gender Perspective in the Programs and Policies of the Ministers of Labor 

On July 10, 2001, the Inter-American Commission on Women (CIM) presented a series of recommendations at the Preparatory Meeting for the Ministers of Labor, which took place on July 12-13, 2001, in Miami, Florida.  The report notes the advancements that various governmental and non-governmental organizations have made with respect to the incorporation of a gender perspective at the national and international levels.  Participating organizations included the International Labor Organization (ILO), the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO). 

These entities have offered the following recommendations and priority action areas: the integration of a gender perspective in all of the policies and programs in the labor sector; the collection of disaggregated data on sex and age; equal remuneration for equal work or for maintaining a secure and clean work environment; the promotion of a social dialogue for female workers; extended social protection to female workers who are self-employed, are not remunerated for their work or are in the informal sector, micro-enterprises, domestic service; the right to collective negotiation or unionization; and, finally, gender equality and equity in human resource development. 

For more information on these recommendations, please click here.

Implementing the Belém do Pará Convention (Violence in the Americas)

Gender violence experts from throughout Latin America and the Caribbean have been gathering to review the implementation of the Convention to Eradicate, Prevent and Punish Violence Against Women (Belém do Pará Convention). The meetings are part of a UNIFEM-sponsored regional initiative by the Women's Commission of the Organization of American States. The most recent sub-regional meeting was held June 21-22 in Quito, Ecuador and was attended by experts from the Andean region. The Quito meeting determined that the overall implementation of the Belém do Para Convention in the Andean region needs significant strengthening. UNIFEM is working with national and sub-regional NGO representatives to develop strategies to increase pressure on national governments to fulfill commitments outlined in the Convention.  

Business Leadership Training Course for Young People in the Province of Buenos Aires

From May 7-11, 2001, the Inter-American Commission of Women (CIM), along with the Government of the Province of Buenos Aires, the Young Americas Business Trust (YABT) and the Goldar Meir Monte Carmel International Training Center (MCTC), of Israel. 

Participants included young entrepreneurs with small businesses, civil society organizations and Municipal officials focused on the areas of production, micro-enterprise development and employment.  The program is being offered as an alternative solution to the problems of unemployment and underemployment in Latin American and Caribbean countries. 

The Executive Secretary of the CIM, Carmen Lomellín, expressed, in a message sent to the program, the importance of incorporating a gender perspective in all areas of society. She concluded by mentioning the fifteenth initiative in the Quebec City Summit Plan of Action, which encourages the participation of women in each society’s development, and recognizes women’s leadership capacities in the reducing poverty, promoting social and economic prosperity, consolidating democracy and resolving conflicts. 

In subsequent follow up meetings, the following recommendations were made in order to continue developing the program: awarding training scholarships; developing a program on “Business Incubators and/or Technology-based Incubators” in the province of Buenos Aires; extending invitations to attend the program to chambers of small and medium-sized businesses, chambers of business and business associations existing in the municipalities; and creating or improving micro enterprise support centers and for the creation of business incubators and high technology-based incubators.  This last recommendation was made by the Golda Meir Training Center and CIM. 

The creation of micro enterprise support centers is a proposal that seeks to strengthen the role of the Latin American woman as an independent micro-entrepreneurs, increase the sustainability of factories run by women and offer experiences on new trends and managerial skills.  The proposal would be carried out in four phases: 1) the training of female leaders; 2) the development of a Support Systems project for micro enterprise in pilot countries; 3) the creation of a network for information exchange; and 4) the carrying out of an annual Regional Encounter in order to analyze the advances made and obstacles encountered in the furthering of this project. 

For more information on this training program, please see its Final Report.

Updated January 11, 2002

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