What kind of state? What kind of Equality?
The document "What kind of State? What kind of equality?" analyses the " progress of gender equality in the region 15 years after the approval of the Beijing Platform for Action, 10 years after the drafting of the Millennium Development Goals and 3 years after the adoption of the Quito Consensus at the tenth session of the Regional Conference on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean, held in 2007. It also examines the achievements made and challenges faced by governments in light of the interaction between the State, the market and families as social institutions built on the foundation of policies, laws, and customs and habits which, together, establish the conditions for renewing or perpetuating gender and social hierarchies.
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OverviewUnited Nations regional economic agency (ECLAC) asks Latin American countries to put an economic value on the work that women do as they take care of households, children and the elderly. In order to achieve parity between men and women it is essential for women to have economic, physical and political autonomy.
The report focuses on labour equality. The general economic activity of the female population is 52 percent across the region in contrast to the male population's of 78 percent. In the region 31.6 percent of women older than 15 lack a personal income, although 81 percent of women in that age group work for family members or do other non-remunerated tasks, without the contribution of women the percentage of poor urban households would increase. The report states that in the 12 countries studied the total workload of women is greater than the men's.
Also the right for pension for women over 60 who do not have paid jobs is also adressed in the report, following the example of Chile's Programme that started in 2008. Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia and Dominican Republic recognise the social and economic contribution of women's unpaid work and care for dependents, but it has yet to translate into legal norms. Countries including Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Chile, Dominican Republic, Mexico and Uruguay have "implemented gender equality initiatives in the business world, such as best practices certification, which measure the parity in recruiting, training, career advancement and access to executive positions". 
The Marcosur Feminist Association (AFM) , United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), the South American Southern Cone, as well as Civil society regional and national networks and non-governmental organisations show their concerns about these issues in Brasilia.
Related Progress Initiatives
The Marcosur Feminist Association (AFM) created several indicators, on a one-point scale in which 1.0 is the best position, to monitor the commitments made by countries at these regional women's conferences.
Economic and Labour Parity Index
The Economic and Labour Parity Index, which measures participation in the workforce, social security coverage, unemployment, urban average salaries and the incidence of poverty,
Uruguay led the way, followed by Brazil, with 0.786; Paraguay, with 0.772; Peru, with 0.763; Argentina, with 0.748; and Ecuador, with 0.740. Mexico came in 11th place, with 0.695, and Chile, with the highest rating in the region for human development, but one of the lowest rates for women's participation in the workforce, was among the last, with a score of 0.687. 
Institutional Commitment Index
The Institutional Commitment Index, meanwhile, analyses aspects like laws on gender quotas to promote women's participation in politics, laws against gender violence and sexual harassment, and the signing and ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). It also evaluates gender and institutions, the implementation of national gender equality plans, surveys of time use and unpaid work, and the legality of abortion in certain cases.
The top ranked country for this set of factors was Costa Rica, with 0.937 points, while the worst was Nicaragua, with 0.229. Other countries that fared well were Argentina (0.895), Ecuador (0.854) and Bolivia (0.833).
- ↑ UN ECLAC. (2010, June). UN ECLAC. Retrieved July 18, 2010, from What Kind of State? What Kind of Equality?: http://www.eclac.org/cgi-bin/getProd.asp?xml=%20/publicaciones/xml/3/40123/P40123.xml&xsl=/mujer/tpl-i/p9f.xsl%20&base=/tpl-i/top-bottom.xslt
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=52106 Time to Value Women's Unpaid Work, Daniela Estrada
- ↑ Full Report Further Information
- Gender equality
- Gender Equality and Decent Work
- Gender, Institutions and Development Data Base
- Gender Inequalities in Allocating Time to Paid and Unpaid Work
- Article: Time to Value Women's Unpaid Work
- Article : UN report looks at labour inequalities for Latin American and Caribbean women