The official launch of the CELAC-UE Dialogue on Gender was carried out on 27 of November with the participation of Eduardo Zuain, Foreign Affairs Secretary from Argentina; Silvina Zabala, Secretary at the Argentinian National Coordination Unit for Gender Violence; Roland Schäfer, Director for the Americas Department from the European External Action Service; and Gloria Bender, Special Representative for International Issues on Women, in representation CELAC’s Pro-Tempore Presidency.
The following days were dedicated to technical workshops on violence against women and femicide carried out by experts from both regions.
Bettina Trueb, manager of Explore Programme, has represented the EU-LAC Foundation during the three-day event, with a presentation during the opening of the workshops. Dr. Trueb has stressed that the topic of gender is one key feature for equipping the bi-regional relationship with a truly strategic ethos, “Achieving gender equality is sine qua non for societies in both regions to address the future, and thus we should work together towards this end. (…) The participation of women in the labour market, in politics, and the fact that they can participate in society without fearing for their security are key pillars for sustainable development and for the economic success of our societies”. Dr. Trueb concluded by underlining that there is a wealth of positive experiences and initiatives in countries from both regions with great potential for the exchange of experiences and best practices.
The EU-LAC Foundation, in coordination with institutions from both regions, has foreseen in its work programme, supporting the bi-regional process in the theme of Gender.
The theme of Gender, as well as Investment for Sustainable Development, were introduced in the EU-CELAC Action Plan 2013-2015 in the last Summit of Heads of State and Government in Santiago de Chile. The former will be focused on three dimensions: political participation of women, violence against women, and economic empowerment of women.