The National Women’s Institute (INMUJERES) of the Government of Mexico, which I am honoured to preside, is the governing body of the National Policy on Equality, with a clear mandate that cuts across the Federal Public Administration, and which also cooperates with other public entities and actors from various sectors, including civil society, the private sector, as well as international organisations to prevent and eradicate violence against women and girls.
Over the course of 21 years, INMUJERES has become one of the most important and recognised mechanisms for the advancement of women, not only in Mexico but also in the region, allowing us to have a broad dialogue and thus contribute our experience while drawing on those of other actors, from local and community to regional and multilateral ones.
Under the premise that sharing knowledge and exchanging good practices enriches the decision-making process and feeds the construction of policies and actions that put the agenda of women and equality at the centre of national plans and programmes, the Global Alliance for Care was born.
This Alliance was launched jointly by INMUJERES and UN Women in the framework of the Generation Equality Forum held in Mexico in 2021. It is an urgent call to governments, international organisations, civil society, the private sector, philanthropic organisations and other strategic partners to take concrete actions to reduce inequalities and promote a cultural transformation by ensuring the Recognition, Reduction and Redistribution of domestic and care work, as well as its fair remuneration and the representation of caregivers.
As of today, this global community already has 62 members,1 who, under the premise of co-creation, cooperation and collaboration, share practices, articulate dialogues and generate advocacy and inter-institutional participation to progressively implement the care agenda worldwide.
Particularly among its member countries, there are important advances in terms of legislation, design and implementation of care policies. Taking up one of the priority areas of the Alliance and under the co-leadership of some of its members, the First Workshop for the Exchange of Experiences on National Care Systems will be held.
Similarly, in the coming days, the Global Alliance for Care will set up the first community of analysis, co-led by the Friedrich- Ebert-Stiftung in Mexico, where the issue of care as a right will be addressed from various perspectives such as local, national and international, and also from regional perspectives2.
In this context, and with a view to another of the Alliance’s priority areas, which refers to promoting and supporting advocacy, multilateralism and international cooperation, in September 2021, in the framework of the 48th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, the governments of Argentina and Mexico presented a declaration that considers care as a human rights issue, which was signed by a total of 50 governments3.
A few days ago, we also participated in the conference “Who cares? Gender equality and the care sector in international cooperation”, organised by the Government of Germany, which holds the presidency of the G7. In this space, the importance of care in the field of international development cooperation was echoed, presenting the Global Alliance for Care as a good practice in this area, supporting the call for action of international organisations such as UN Women and the International Labour Organisation, and countries such as Canada, Tanzania and Germany.
We are also working in a very committed way to advance the care agenda in Mexico. Specifically, we have established an important and substantive collaboration with UN Women, from which some relevant projects have emerged.
We have accompanied the Legislative Branch in the issuance of the General Law of the National Care System, as well as the Constitutional Reform to articles 4 and 73, in order to establish the human right to dignified care and guarantee it.
Together, and with ECLAC’s Sub-regional Headquarters in Mexico, we developed a series of studies on the costs and returns of investing in care, showing how spending on care is an economically profitable investment. And we are working with Mexico’s Centre of Excellence in Gender Statistics on a national mapping of geo-referenced care services.
We are also coordinating the development of Dialogues with Civil Society Organisations, academia, local governments and the federal government towards the construction of a progressive, inclusive and sustainable National Care System with justice and social welfare.
In Mexico, at INMUJERES we are totally convinced of the virtue of spaces that open up opportunities for co-creation and collaboration between multiple actors. It is time to think of innovative ways to advance the feminist agenda that will lead us once and for all to real equality. Undoubtedly, building care societies is a step in this direction, a direction that ensures a more just, sustainable and fulfilling life for all women and girls.