Women’s autonomy and economic empowerment

UN Women and the Ibero-American General Secretariat (SEGIB)

This report has been published in the context of the partnership between UN Women's Regional Office for the Americas and the Caribbean and the Ibero-American General Secretariat (SEGIB).

The document tackles three key issues facing the promotion of women's autonomy and economic empowerment, highlighting in each of the three, specific discriminatory situations present in the legislative frameworks prevailing across LAC countries:

  1. Access to goods and equity. The report points to the discrimination deriving from laws regulating equity and goods during marriage, separations and divorce; inequalities in laws over inheritance and land ownership, as well as distinctions that exist in access to credit and financing.
  2. Access to paid work. Labor legislation contains numerous discriminatory precepts that are detrimental to women's access to employment, inequalities in wages, social security and pensions, as well as the precarious situations of domestic workers’ social protection.
  3. Rights linked to unpaid work. The document has a chapter on the flimsy protection women have during pregnancy and on the still very limited achievements made in recognizing men's shared responsibility and the universal right to care without gender discrimination.

Furthermore, to illustrate the legal inequalities that exist across the region, the analysis contains copious tables comparing the situation between countries, giving concrete examples of situations that restrict women's economic autonomy and sometimes societal welfare as a whole.