Women Central for Latin American RecoveryBy Sofía Hanna | Thu, 10/22/2020 - 14:57
On Oct. 20, UN Women for the Americas and the Caribbean conducted the event "Women, at the Center of Economic Recuperation of Latin America." Leaders discussed and brought to the public's attention a problem that comes along with the gender gap.
According to the UN, if this situation were to be resolved, it could increase the worldwide GDP by US$5.3 trillion. However, the problem is getting more serious by the minute. If the situation remains unattended, for every 100 men in poverty there will be 117 women in the same conditions between the ages of 25 and 34. One of the key takeaways of the event was that if each country were to invest in empowering policies that allowed access to education, planned parenthood and equal pay, more than 100 million women could have a chance out of poverty.
María-Noel Vaeza, Regional Director for the Americas and the Caribbean of UN Women; Nadia Sánchez Gómez, Founder of She Is; Eric Parrado Herrera, General Manager of Investigation at Banco Interamericano and Fernando Fascioli, President of McCann Worldwide Group for the Americas and the Caribbean, all attended the digital event.
The impact of gender bias on credit applications was also addressed during the event. According to Vaeza, credit is not given to women because companies and banks still believe that they will get pregnant or use the money to finance motherhood, so it is preferable to give men these resources. "We need more investments that go beyond microcredits because this is where women are always categorized. We need higher investments so that women's new ventures can be supported as much as they need to. I do not understand why, if women are better at repaying their credit, with almost 96 percent of their credits being repaid, we are still not seen as credit subjects," said Vaeza. Meanwhile, results show that only 70 percent of men repay their loans.
The forum concluded with the idea that giving better access to credit and empowering women economically is a fundamental issue that has to be addressed. Half of the population in active economic regions are women and they are still limited by stereotypes when it comes to money.