13 June 2019
Ibero-American General Secretariat headquarters Paseo de Recoletos 8, 28001, Madrid
Enterprising women, leaders of social change in Ibero- America
The BBVA Microfinance Foundation (BBVAMF), together with the OECD Development Centre and the Ibero-American General Secretariat (SEGIB) are presenting the Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) in Madrid, Spain. This report, elaborated by the OECD, reflects women’s situation in 180 countries regarding discrimination in the family, restricted physical integrity, limited access to productive and financial resources, and restrained civil liberties. These dimensions look at the gaps that legislation, prevalence and attitudes create between women and men in terms of rights and opportunities. Discriminatory social institutions perpetuate gender gaps in education, employment, or health, hampering progress and development.
According to results of the fourth edition of the SIGI, the level of gender-based discrimination in social institutions in the American continent, which includes laws, social norms and practices, is 25% (18% in North America, 25% in Central and South America and 27% in the Caribbean), lagging behind Europe, (17%) which is the region with the lowest level of discrimination against women and girls in terms of social institutions.
Over the past 20 years, Latin America’s legal framework has considerably evolved, mostly in politics, in economics and in laws that protect women from gender violence. Latin American countries have low or very low levels of discrimination (notably, 15% in Colombia and 18% in Dominican Republic), except in Chile (36%) and Paraguay (33%), registering medium levels of discrimination.
Still, a lot has to be done; the region’s main concern is discrimination in the family sphere, linked to property management and necessary to conduct a business or request a loan, because even if there are no restrictions against it (some countries explicitly prohibit any kind of discrimination towards women), discriminatory social norms and practices still hinder its effective implementation. Also worth noting is women’s rights with respect to the labor market (some countries prevent women to access certain types of jobs, have no laws that prohibit discrimination when it comes to their recruitment and promotion, and maternity leave is unprotected).
The event will commence with a broad look at the global situation focusing on the main conclusion of the report with an emphasis on the situation in Spain before delving deeper into Latin America. To highlight the reality of many of the women in that region, two women entrepreneurs from BBVAMF will share their experiences and obstacles they endure to overcome social and economic barriers. The conversation with the entrepreneurs will be framed by asking several key questions from the survey used to develop the SIGI in order to provide first person accounts to the data presented. Additionally, high-level representatives from the Government of Spain, SEGIB, OECD and BBVAMF will participate.