eu-alc Cooperation Efforts to Achieve Millennium Development Goal 3: “Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women”
ResumenGender inequality as well as violence against women is a major problem in Latin America and the Caribbean. It is manifested in issues such as gender violence, lower political participation by women, employment and wage inequality, female illiteracy and the difficulty women have gaining access to full sexual and reproductive health. The Latin American continent has achieved progress towards gender equality and women’s empowerment under the Millennium Development Goals, including equal access to primary education between girls and boys. However women and girls continue to suffer high rates of discrimination and violence in most Latin American countries.In this specific region of the world, mentalities of both civil and political actors of the society, need to fully process the fact that gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable society. Women’s economic empowerment is defined as a transformational process, in which women gain increased access to and power over economic assets and economic decisions. Through programs like Eurosocial and alfa III financed by the European Commission, the European Union has been seeking to increase its cooperation with Latin America in this domain. Some projects like Equality, carried out within the framework of these programs, directly or indirectly aimed at providing women and girls with equal access to education, health care, decent work, and representation in political and economic decision-making processes.Achieving these goals would certainly contribute to develop more sustainable economies and benefit societies and the population on its whole, as it partially did already. Nevertheless it has been made clear over the years, with a low financial aid dedicated to the problem, that this aspect of the cooperation was not the very first priority of the European Union in Latin America. As for today, 17 years after setting the millennium goals, one thing is sure: there is yet a lot to be done to promote gender equality and women empowerment in Latin America.
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