UN Women and the Basque Government Sign a Collaboration Agreement to Promote Gender Equality in Latin America

Date: Thursday, October 20, 2011

UN Women Press Release
For immediate release

Media Contact: Oisika Chakrabarti, Media Specialist, oisika.chakrabarti[at]unwomen.org, +1 646 781-4522.

With a contribution of EUR 450,000, the programme will focus on participation and the political leadership of women.

New York — The Executive Director of UN Women, Michelle Bachelet, and the Secretary General of Foreign Affairs, Guillermo Echenique, on behalf of the Lehendakari Patxi López, presented a memorandum of understanding on 20 October to work jointly in strengthening the political participation of women and their leadership in general, as well as to promote gender-oriented budgeting within the context of local and regional governments in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Since the inception of the United Nations entity in January of this year, UN Women has identified 5 high-priority areas for working with women in the world: political leadership and participation; gender violence; economic empowerment; the participation of women in efforts to promote peace in countries in conflict; and support for the national and local governments in formulating budgets and programmes with a gender focus.

“A greater role for women in policy, economy, local governments, unions, parliament and all entities of decision making, is an enormous contribution to democracy and is good for countries. For that reason I also wish to thank the Basque Country and its government, not only for this financial contribution, but also for its political will in terms of ensuring a permanent focus on issues relating to equality and promotion of women and girls, said Ms. Bachelet after signing the agreement.

In turn, the Basque government representative insisted, “Promoting the equality of women and men is not only a matter of justice, but is also conducive to the benefit and wealth of society. For that reason, my Government is firmly convinced that investing in equality is tantamount to investing in development and the future.

The agreement will last between 2012 and 2014 and will strengthen both fieldwork in terms of promoting leadership and participation, as well as support for generating gender-sensitive budgets in countries in Central America, and especially in El Salvador. The agreement will take effect from early 2012.

The agreement was signed at UN Women headquarters in New York.