As the regional arm of the United Nations in Latin America and the Caribbean, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC/CEPAL) contributes to the economic and social development of Member States in the region, coordinating actions directed towards this end, and reinforcing economic relationships among the countries and with the other nations of the world. In the last decade, the mainstreaming of a gender perspective in its projects and programmes has increasingly become a clear part of its mandate.
ECLAC’s mandate and policy framework in the area of violence against women derive from the Regional Programme of Action for the Women of Latin America and the Caribbean (1994), confirmed by the Lima Consensus, adopted by the Eighth Regional Conference on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean (2000), and the Mexico Consensus, adopted by the Ninth Regional Conference (2004).
ECLAC’s mandate and policy framework in the area of violence against women has been further strengthened by the recommendations of the Quito Consensus, adopted by the tenth session of the Regional Conference on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean (August 2007) and the bi-annual meetings of its Presiding Officers of the Regional Conference. At their forty-second meeting (Santiago, Chile 4-5 December 2008), the Presiding Officers and other member countries reported on measures being taken in their respective countries to eliminate gender-based violence, particularly at the institutional level as well as through the media and campaigns to unit with men against violence.12 In their final agreement, they “condemn(ed) violence against women, in all its forms, including violence in conflict situations, request(ed) the support of international cooperation to strengthen efforts to eradicate such violence, and ask(ed) that specific budgets be approved to support national action plans for the prevention and punishment of gender-based violence and the provision of care to people affected by it” (par. 26 and 27).
At their forty-third meeting (Port of Spain, 7-8 July 2009), the Presiding Officers of the Regional Conference on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean reiterated their support to the attainment of the objectives of the Secretary-General’s Campaign to end violence against women and participate actively in the launch of the campaign in Latin America and the Caribbean in 2009
ECLAC addresses all forms and manifestations of violence against women. It undertakes research and policy development and the identification of good practice examples; it implements operational activities and contributes to awareness-raising and outreach on these issues. ECLAC aims to strengthen the capacity of countries in the region to produce knowledge on gender-based violence, including the measurement of its incidence and trends.
ECLAC is presently collaborating with the regional Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights to establish ways of linking follow-up of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Violence against Women (Convention of Belém do Pará).Hide
ECLAC prepared a study analyzing the sources of information available in Latin America and the Caribbean in relation to the set of interim indicators on violence against women, approved by the Statistical Commission at its 40th session (2009).Hide
ECLAC prepared an updated version of the regional interagency report on violence against women on the basis of the information available in recent demographic and health surveys. The report was presented as part of the launching of the regional chapter of the Secretary General’s Campaign to end violence against women in Guatemala City, in November 2009).Hide
Within the framework of the Observatory on Gender Equality, ECLAC organized a meeting on good practices in public policies which included a panel on violence against women in Santiago, in September 2009.Hide
In the framework of the interregional project, ECLAC collaborated with ECE in the development of a proposal for developing and testing a short module questionnaire on violence against women together with a proposal for the accompanying interviewer’s guide and training package. Testing of the module is being prepared by two or three pilot countries in each region.Hide
In November 2007, ECLAC published the regional report on violence against women. The Spanish version was launched in November 2007, under the title “!Ni una más! El derecho a vivir una vida libre de violencia en América Latina y el Caribe”. In December 2007, ECLAC published a report on the follow-up to Goal 3 of the Millennium Development Goals, including a chapter on violence against women.Hide
In order to define the basic set of indicators necessary for the functioning of the ECLAC Gender Observatory, two technical meetings were organized, with representatives from National Machineries for the Advancement of Women/Gender Affairs and National Statistical Offices of Latin America (Aguascalientes (Mexico), in October 2008) and the Caribbean (Port-of-Spain, in December 2008). Reports of both meetings were approved at the Forty-second meeting of the Presiding Officers of the Regional Conference on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean (Santiago, December 2008).Hide
ECLAC initiated the development of a Gender Observatory, as a tool to support governments in analysing regional realities, monitoring gender equality policies and international agreements, and providing technical support and training to national mechanisms for the advancement of women, as well as to national statistical agencies in countries that request such support. Violence against women is one of four main issues of concern of the Observatory.Hide
In March 2013, ECLAC published the third report of the Gender Equality Observatory for Latin America and the Caribbean, which focuses on indicators of physical, economic and decision-making autonomy as seen against the backdrop of the regional agenda shaped by the consensuses reached at the Regional Conferences on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean. The Observatory’s indicators of physical autonomy highlight the obstacles that women in the region face in seeking to take their own decisions about their sexuality and reproduction and to exercise their right to a life free of violence.Hide