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Statement by the Permanent Mission of El Salvador to the United Nations on behalf of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) ITEM 29: ADVANCEMENT OF WOMEN

Statement by the Permanent Mission of El Salvador to the United Nations on behalf of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC)

October 5

Mr. Chair,

I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Member States of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).

CELAC countries reaffirm the importance of the full, accelerated and effective implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the outcome documents of its review conferences, as well as of the outcome of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly. We also reaffirm the importance for States Parties to fully comply with their international obligations under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and its Optional Protocol.

We affirm our commitment to promote gender equity and equality, as well as the advancement of women, as necessary conditions to achieve full exercise and enjoyment of fundamental freedoms, as well as all human rights, including the right to development in order to achieve the goals and targets for Sustainable Development of the 2030 Agenda, implementing actions for its incorporation as central and cross-cutting axes of the policies, strategies and actions of the States.

We commit to eradicate all forms of violence against women, adolescents and girls, to promote their political and economic empowerment by eliminating all social barriers, approving and strengthening public policies and laws to promote gender equality, to ensure full access to education and justice, as well as economic and financial autonomy, and political participation and representation.

For CELAC, the promotion and protection of all human rights and fundamental freedoms of women must be a priority objective for our countries and the United Nations, in accordance with its purposes and principles. We reaffirm that the human rights of women are an inalienable, integral and indivisible part of universal human rights and that their full and equal enjoyment by women and girls is essential for their empowerment.


Mr. Chair,


We know that much progress has been made by the international community since the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women; nevertheless, we should keep in mind how far we still are from reaching all those goals and commitments, particularly with regard to equality between women and men.


We recognize the international commitments made at relevant United Nations summits and conferences in the area of gender equality and the empowerment of women, including, inter alia, in the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (Cairo, 1994) and its key actions for its further implementation, and consequently we are committed to strengthen the policy, legal and political frameworks, as well as to enhance the support for the national machineries for the advancement of women.


The status of women is a matter of continued concern to our societies particularly because of the feminization of poverty, the prevailing violence and discrimination against women and girls, as well as structural inequalities that perpetuate the cycle of poverty, marginalization and inequity which impede the full realization of their political, social, economic and cultural rights.


We acknowledge regional progress, obstacles and challenges for guaranteeing women’s full, effective and active participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of government decision-making and to increase their representation in public office, particularly at the highest government levels, but also within the private sector and in the UN System. The commitment and actions to promote women’s full and active political participation as well as equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of government in decision-making processes, including at the highest levels in the political, economic, cultural, social and environmental sectors should be given increased priority in national, regional and international agendas.


Therefore we reiterate our commitment to join efforts and to continue combating all forms of violence against women and girls, including femicide, female genital mutilation, forced marriages,  trafficking in persons and violence resulting from drug trafficking, organized crime and sexual and other types of exploitation as well as discrimination against women and girls and to promote their human rights by generating the necessary conditions for their development, strengthening public and private spaces, where applicable, both national and international, to enable them to enhance their capabilities and receive quality health care services, education, training and protection against gender based violence, initiating processes to facilitate the full exercise of their human rights and to strengthening their economic autonomy, including the promotion of their integration in different productive sectors.


CELAC also reiterates the importance of enhancing and strengthening women´s equal access to lifelong learning opportunities and equal access to high quality education, training and skills development at all levels, from early childhood, primary, secondary and tertiary education, and the access to health care services, in particular maternal health and sexual and reproductive health and to decent productive employment, including through the elimination of barriers to equal conditions for women and men in the workplace and equal pay for equal work, to social protection, as well as autonomy and economic empowerment.

CELAC Member States attach particular importance to the protection of migrant women and girls. The contribution of women migrant workers to the sustainable development and economic growth of countries of destination and origin must be fully value and recognized. The human rights of migrant women must be fully respected regardless of their migratory status.

CELAC Member States attach particular importance to the protection and empowerment of rural women and girls. The contribution of rural women to the development of their countries must be fully recognized. The human rights of rural women must be fully respected and they should access to economic and productive resources, support services, decision making process, including the areas of food, housing, education, health, among others.

Mr. Chair,

We reiterate the important role of men and boys as key agents of change for achieving gender equality and empowering women and girls in our societies, and we encourage them to take an active part in, and to engage fully as agents and beneficiaries of change especially in the realization of women’s empowerment.

We attach particular importance to promoting macroeconomic policies with a gender perspective that enable the creation of decent jobs, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation, foster the investment in social care infrastructure and stimulate the expansion of economic activity to promote the full employment of women, recognizing women’s contribution as a part of unpaid care and domestic work, without segregation or discrimination based on sex, age, ethnicity and race. It is also important to ensure that trade and investment policies meet international human rights standards.

We express our commitment to implement, with the assistance of relevant stakeholders, measures and embark upon campaigns to dismantle patriarchal cultural stereotypes that perpetuate the unequal division of labor solely on the basis of sex, and other discriminatory social and economic norms that hinder, devalue or make invisible the work of women. We further commit to the implementation of policies and programs aimed at promoting access to decent work for women, in particular for those facing multiple and intersecting forms of inequality and discrimination with special attention given to young women, indigenous women, women of African descent, rural women, migrant women, older women, women with disabilities and women living with HIV.

Mr. Chair,

Our member States recognize the importance of including, in development and poverty eradication policies, strategies and programs, the strengthening of the economic activities of indigenous women and their organizations, with participatory consultation mechanisms, that enable free and informed consent, that respect and protect their traditional and ancestral knowledge, in order to enhance their empowerment, autonomy and development so that they have better mechanism that ensure the reproduction of life, the sustainability and conservation of the land, the territory and the environment.

CELAC recognizes the vulnerability and situation of women and girls who suffer multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination, such as migrant, rural and indigenous women, women with disabilities, older women and women of African descent. Our countries agreed to intensify efforts to develop the full potential of women and address violence and discrimination against them who besides being discriminated against for being women, also face discrimination as a result of additional factors, such as race, age, language, ethnic origin, culture, religion and disabilities, among others.

We propose that Governments should examine and seek to pursue the creation of legal, administrative and policy measures necessary for the development of sustainable protection frameworks and special schemes for self-employed women that allow their formalization, in accordance with national legislation.

CELAC Member States also attach particular importance to the protection of rural women and girls. Rural women have a critical role in achieving sustainable development, poverty eradication and food security, among others. The empowerment of rural women must be fully achieved.

Mr. Chair,

The governments of our region have established a working group on Advancement of Women, with civil society and supported by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean and the UN Women. This Working Group has met in San Salvador, El Salvador, in 2014 and 2015, and in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic in November of 2016.

We would also like to highlight the XIII Regional Conference on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean that was held in Montevideo, Uruguay, on October 25 to 28, 2016, supported by ECLAC and UN-Women in which we adopted the Strategy of Montevideo with the aim to support the implementation in our region of the commitments on gender equality and women's empowerment in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

We also salute the commemorative session of the 40th anniversary of the First Regional Conference on the Integration of Women into Economic and Social Development of Latin America and the Caribbean in 1977, which will take place in La Habana, Cuba from October 5 to 6, as a landmark of gender agenda in the Region.

We welcome the holding of regional consultations of Latin America and the Caribbean jointly with UN Women in Panama City from 6 to 8 February 2017, in order to contribute to the preparations of the 61 session of the Commission on the Status of Women. A number of high-level officials participated in the fruitful discussions and adopted the Panama Declaration, which reflects the important perspectives that will contribute to our continued efforts to ensure the economic empowerment of women.

We recognize the important contribution of feminist and women’s movements and civil society organizations to placing the interests, needs, and vision of women on the international agenda, and acknowledge the need to strengthen these organizations as well as governmental and civil society coordination for the positioning of women’s agenda.

CELAC Member States renew their strong support to the mandate of UN Women. We welcome the strengthening of its capacity and experience in achieving its mandate as well as the Entity’s leadership in providing a strong voice for women and girls at all levels. However, we recognize that much remains to be done. Global challenges continue to require coordinated and coherent work at all levels, particularly within the UN development system as a whole. 

CELAC also advocates for more international dialogue and consensus, as well as enhanced international cooperation, including regional, North-South, South-South and triangular cooperation, in support of national initiatives in developing countries designed to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment.

To conclude Mr. Chair,

The governments of the region maintain their firm commitment to promoting equity, equality and the empowerment of all women and girls, as it was agreed in the CELAC ACTION PLAN, approved at the V CELAC Summit, held in Punta Cana, on January 2017.

I thank you,






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