According to data from the World Economic Forum, it is estimated that it will take 132 years to eliminate the gender gap worldwide. According to the 2022 data, Chile ranks 47th out of 156 countries in the Gender Gap Index ranking, which represents an increase of 23 places compared to its position in 2021. The report considers four areas of analysis: 1) economic participation and opportunities; 2) educational attainment, 3) health, and 4) political empowerment, where Chile is ranked 34th.
Achieving better results in gender equality is a mean to recognize the contribution that women have had throughout our history and of their potential for the future.
The Government of Chile defines itself as a feminist government, committed to gender mainstreaming in all State actions. In this effort, the government’s first cabinet has been constituted in a parity manner. Of 24 Ministries, 13 are led by women and of the 29 vice ministerial positions in the country, 19 are headed by women.
Internally, based on the commitments assumed internationally, such as goal 5 of the Sustainable Development 2030 Agenda and with the purpose of increasing the participation of women in public life, the State of Chile has promoted the social and political leadership of women in public life, which has guaranteed their participation in decision-making spaces and has contributed to the establishment of parity democracy.
As an example, the electoral system has been reformed to establish a parity criterion, by virtue of which neither men nor women can exceed 60% of the lists of any candidacy.
With this measure, it is ensured that political parties sponsor women’s candidacies for positions of political relevance and decision-making, which allows them to contribute to the future of the country.
On the other hand, in the corporate world, since 2019, there is a registry of women for boards, which seeks to give visibility to women and promote their participation in company boards. Then, in 2021, a law was approved that ordered that in public companies the same gender cannot exceed 60% of the total number of board members.
The Government has presented a new system that aims to establish itself as a space for the development of citizenship and its expressions of diversity, which promotes gender parity, inter culturality, and the circulation of local, regional and national knowledge.
In relation to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through a participatory process, a Feminist Foreign Policy is defined and implemented, whose objective is to institutionalize and give transversality to the human rights approach, the gender perspective and intersectionality. Structural transformations will also be implemented within the Foreign Ministry, incorporating a feminist vision in favour of gender equality in the different dimensions of the ministry’s work.
Finally, affirmative actions will be applied to correct inequalities and move towards parity Foreign Ministry, guarantee plurality in the different spaces of political incidence and prioritize gender equality in the structure of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its representations abroad.
Feminist foreign policy
At the international level, Chile has been part of numerous relevant initiatives and instruments in the field of political, social and economic participation of women and parity, regardless of the political sensitivity of the government.
The first initiatives were represented by the ratification of the Inter-American Convention on the Granting of Political Rights to Women, carried out by the Organization of American States in May 1948, in Bogotá, which established that women have the right to equal political treatment than the man. Our country also ratified in 1952 the Convention on the Political Rights of Women, whose first three articles addressed specifically the issue of the political rights of women.
To advance opportunities and reduce the gender gap, the Government of Chile, aware that women have a relevant role in the future, has implemented a feminist foreign policy.
Based on Chile’s political action abroad, gender equality is established as a strategic objective and a transversal axis of the work of the Foreign Ministry, which in turn is aligned with national policies and priorities on gender equality.
The feminist foreign policy recognizes that gender gaps limit the full participation of women in building more representative democracies and reduce the political, economic and social potential of a country. Therefore, it seeks to influence those multilateral and bilateral instances where the rights of women, girls and adolescents are addressed with the purpose of reinforcing global and regional governance that ensures the protection and promotion of their dignity and autonomy.
Advancing in the creation of participation spaces for women and girls is a task of which we must all be a part, without distinction. Its empowerment and inclusion in all sectors of society allow delivering the light that guides the next generations.
In relation to the substantive challenges or barriers that prevent achieving gender parity, the fight against violence and arbitrary discrimination against women and girls remain pending, which prevents the full exercise of their rights and autonomy.
In this sense, in order to tear down such walls, in addition to the measures that each State can adopt internally, international cooperation is of vital importance.
To create the necessary spaces, both public and private, that allow the maximum development of women in all social spheres, reducing the historical gaps, Chile has given itself the task of contributing through a feminist foreign policy that emphasizes equality of gender as a democratic value and an asset that reinforces the international image of Chile, as a country that is at the forefront of the challenges that the global agenda imposes.