New gender equality report on Latin America cites gap between UN goals and local realities
July 8, 2020 — A report released today sheds light on gender equality in Latin America through community-based assessments in five countries, suggesting that a significant gap remains between progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals and women’s rights on the ground. This situation is exacerbated by the abuses of corporations whose interests are often prioritized over those of local populations by national and international entities. The report, based on gender assessments carried out by member of the Global Forest Coalition as part of the Women2030 program, provides case studies from Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and Paraguay.
Official progress on gender equality, such as that cited in Voluntary National Reviews at the UN – which meets this week for the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development – often obscures abuses at local and regional levels that lead to land grabbing, deforestation, biodiversity loss, water pollution and scarcity, soil degradation, droughts, and wildfires. These have particularly harmful effects on women, the report notes.
The coordinator of the report, Juana Vera Delgado, states: “When we analyze gender injustices through the eyes of women from peasant and Indigenous communities, we realize how women and girls are the groups who suffer the direct impacts of extractive activities and their appropriation and destruction of territories, which in turn destroys the basis of people’s livelihoods. The persistent destruction of local ecosystems also undermines women’s resilience and capacity to confront climate change and pandemics such as COVID-19.”
The report urges bodies such as the UN to listen to the voices of women at the local level who face gender-based discrimination and rights violations and to take seriously their alternative proposals for achieving sustainable development with gender and environmental justice.
Key recommendations of the report include the following:
- All forms of violence against women, girls, and Indigenous Peoples must be urgently eradicated, including putting an end to the persecution, violence, and murder of environmental leaders.
- There is a need to halt megaprojects and the expansion of extractive industries and demilitarize Indigenous communities and territories. Governments and banks must also stop subsidizing destructive industries that disproportionately harm women.
- Parallel work is needed between superstructures like the UN and communities to address local needs and support the alternative responses that women and organizations are developing to achieve gender justice.
The report, along with video messages by participating researchers in each of the five countries profiled, can be accessed at https://globalforestcoalition.org/lac-gender-assessments-report/
Juana Vera Delgado (English and Spanish), firstname.lastname@example.org, +31 6 29342266
Megan Morrissey (English and Spanish), email@example.com, +1 202-365-6900