María Noel Vaeza during the second panel of the dialogue 'Women of America for rights and well-being', on May 31 in Mexico City.Gladys Serrano
Only 42% of Latin American women are included in the formal labor market and only 7% of them hold a managerial position in private sector companies, a sample not only of the inequality that hits women in the region, but of the lack of opportunities. Despite this, women's unpaid work accounts for between 20 and 25% of the continent's domestic product, an effort that shows that the region's growth depends heavily on them. "Countries grow on the shoulders of free women," said Maria Noel Vaeza, UN Women Regional Director.
Vaeza has participated in a discussion table on the role of women in the sustainable development of Latin America together with the Minister of Education of Colombia, Aurora Vergara; Rosa Junquera, director of sustainability at PRISA; and Aimée Sentmat de Grimaldo, president of Banistmo de Panamá. The table is part of the meeting Dialogue of Women of America, which took place this Wednesday at the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City.
The panelists Rosa Junquera, Aimée Sentmat de Grimaldo, Ana María Lomelí, María Noel Vaeza and Aurora Vergara, this Wednesday. Gladys Serrano
Vaeza stressed the importance of recognizing the care work carried out by women, on which the well-being of families depends, but also the economic growth of the countries of the region. That contribution, she said, was demonstrated during the COVID-19 pandemic, when women played an important role in protecting both their families and society. "The pandemic showed that care is an important job, if it had not been for women, there would have been more victims of the pandemic," said the UN official.
Vaeza has advocated that care work be recognized as a driver of development, which means that it must also be remunerated. "When women enter the private sector, those companies produce 30% or have 40% more market. Our continent will not grow without women," said Vaeza.
In this sense, Aimée Sentmat de Grimaldo has affirmed that the private sector must be a more active actor when it comes to generating more opportunities for women's participation in the labor market, which means guaranteeing their access to financing systems. "The private sector has to understand that it must work together with governments. To be allies of governments in global initiatives. We have made progress, but at the speed we are advancing we are not going to achieve the challenges," he said.
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