UN Women Deputy Executive Director to participate in pre-CSW meeting in Panama

Date: Thursday, February 2, 2017

UN Women Deputy Executive Director Lakshmi Puri will attend the Regional Consultations for Latin America and the Caribbean, to be held in Panama City, from 6 – 8 February, in the lead up to the 61st session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW61).

The intergovernmental meeting will convene top gender officials from 25 countries from the region to forge a common position on women´s economic empowerment in the changing world of work, the priority theme for the upcoming CSW61 to be held in New York in March.

In preparation for the regional consultations, more than 75 members of women’s organizations and regional networks are also gathering for a meeting on 6 February.

The Deputy Executive Director will speak at the opening ceremony of the consultation and contribute to the working sessions. During her visit to Panama, she will also meet the Secretary-General of the Latin American Parliament, the Vice-President of the Republic of Panama and members of civil society from Latin America and the Caribbean.

Women´s economic empowerment is a particularly important issue for Latin America and the Caribbean as the region is currently facing sluggish economic growth. UN Women estimates that closing the gender gaps in the labour market could increase the region's GDP per capita by 14 per cent [1].

Notwithstanding the progress made in the last decades, women´s participation in the workforce is still 26 per cent lower than men´s in the region, and their unemployment rate is 50 per cent higher. Women earn a regional average of 19 per cent less than their male counterparts [2]. These economic inequalities are even more pronounced for women of colour, young and indigenous women.

With an indigenous population of close to 10 per cent in Latin America [3], the empowerment of indigenous women, which is the emerging theme of CSW61, is another priority on the agenda of the intergovernmental meeting.

The pre-CSW61 consultations in Latin America and the Caribbean are co-convened by the Ministries of Women´s Affairs of Panama and Uruguay, and UN Women´s Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean.

For updates from the region consultations, please follow @onumujeres (Spanish), @un_csw (English) and the hashtag #CSW61 on Twitter.

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