Women’s Ministries are relatively new government departments. What are your greatest achievements?
The social struggle for the rights and dignity of women resulted in hundreds of changes both at the private and public level. Proof of this is the implementation of Women’s Ministries in different countries around the world , which are usually accompanied by equity and diversity approaches. Although this means a great achievement, the biggest challenge for these government entities is to create transversal gender policies that align with the demands that millions of women make every day and protect them from the historical violence they suffer while dignifying their lives.
In this sense, the Women’s Ministries play a very important role in promoting social change from the governmental structure. According to the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), these have two approaches. First, coordinate actions in favor of women within the government, such as ensuring the implementation of public policies. Second, promote cultural change in coordination with civil society.
Let’s take a closer look at the greatest achievements of the various Women’s Ministries around the world.
Women’s Ministries in Latin America and the Caribbean
According to the IDB, 44% of the countries in Latin America and the Caribbean have a Ministry for Women. Among these we find Argentina with the Ministry of Women, Gender and Diversity; Chile with the Ministry of Women and Gender Equity; Colombia with the Ministry of Equality and Equity; Mexico with the National Institute for Women; Peru with the Ministry of Women and Vulnerable People, among others.
Despite the fact that there are several countries in the region that have these entities, the budget data for 2022 for the region show that they represent only 0.18% of the budget for the Executive Branch. In that order of ideas, their bodies of work are usually small, which hinders their work when it comes to promoting public policies.
However, there are notable cases. For example, Argentina is a spearhead in the region when it comes to closing the gender gap based on a budget model with a gender approach, in which the budget programs related to this approach are reviewed and identified. in order to allocate and plan resources. Likewise, since 2018, it has published and required reports from the National Budget Office (ONP) to maintain transparency regarding the use of resources.
This leads to the application of public policies, such as the System of Indicators with a Gender Perspective, which evaluates policies and inequalities in Ministries such as the Treasury and Finance. On the other hand, in 2022 there was an 18% reduction in femicides. This figure would respond to the application of dual devices (anklets), which function as a geolocation system to guarantee compliance with the restrictions on approaches related to high-risk gender violence.
In Europe there are 22 countries with entities related to gender, equity and diversity. Among these we find Spain, Switzerland, Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland, Germany, Luxembourg, Finland, France and the United Kingdom.
Some cases, such as Spain, Iceland and the United Kingdom, are internationally recognized for their ability to articulate budgets with a gender perspective with other ministries and government activities. In Iceland, for example, this results in a majority of women parliamentarians and positions of power for women. At the same time, in public policies focused on gender equity and the strengthening of a culture that sees women as strong and capable beings at the political level. This is correlated with the strong laws against harassment and gender violence and tools such as the Equal Pay Standard, which focuses on closing the pay gap and is applied to different companies in the country.
Women’s Ministries are currently very important because they are the ones who can help guarantee equity from the political branch and make a change from the roots a reality. However, they are victims of a lack of attention from governments that do not allocate sufficient resources to make this a reality. Examples such as Argentina and Iceland show how a budget with a gender perspective can progressively help make a country a safer and more dignified place for the women who live in it.