With a webinar on the forms of measurement disaggregated by sex, the gender focus training of the technical groups and committees of the Pacific Alliance comes to an end

On Wednesday, June 9, the last day of training on gender approach was held for the members of the technical groups, committees and working groups of the Pacific Alliance (PA), organized by the Technical Group on Gender of the PA with support from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

The webinar “Forms of measurement disaggregated by sex”, which was attended by more than 100 participants, was led by Alicia Frohmann, an ECLAC consultant with a long career in international trade and in academic, government and international organizations. She also directs the global project Gender, Social Inclusion and Cooperation Trade of the United Kingdom. As an academic, she is a professor at the Institute of International Studies of the University of Chile and the Center for Latin America of the University of Heidelberg.

At the event, the importance of integrating a gender approach in the analysis and evaluation of any initiative through the use of sex-disaggregated data was highlighted. Similarly, developing an intersectional and multidimensional analysis is key to identify and understand the situation of women in any scenario. Finally, the speaker emphasized the great opportunity that the technical groups, committees and subcommittees of the Pacific Alliance have to create spaces for sharing experiences, strengths and weaknesses in the collection and use of sex-disaggregated data in each of their countries.

These three days of training also addressed issues such as the incorporation of gender approach – in a transversal way – in the work of the groups and the use of inclusive language, and the development of projects with this approach, all this in order to achieve what was established in 2015 through the Declaration of Paracas to promote gender equality and mainstream the gender perspective in the various initiatives and actions of the Pacific Alliance.

See the full presentation here.

Virtual Meeting of Women Entrepreneurs of the Pacific Alliance

April 28, 2021. – On the occasion of the 10th Anniversary of the Pacific Alliance (PA) and in follow-up to the recently adopted Presidential Declaration of the Pacific Alliance on Gender Equality[1], and its Roadmap for the autonomy and economic empowerment of women in the PA, the Gender Technical Group (GTG) with the support of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), held this April 28, 2021, the virtual meeting of women entrepreneurs, “Economic empowerment of women in the Pacific Alliance: Challenges in the face of the covid-19 pandemic towards inclusive recovery”.

This meeting was held in order to make visible the importance of identifying the gaps and the effects that the pandemic caused by COVID-19 has generated in women entrepreneurs in the four countries of the bloc, recognizing that it is crucial that the States contemplate an inclusive recovery without leaving anyone behind. The event opened a space for discussion and exchange for women entrepreneurs of the Pacific Alliance with a view to identifying and analyzing the main challenges they face in achieving autonomy and empowerment, as well as developing their export potential, especially under the crisis scenario.

The meeting was attended by more than 200 people, including women entrepreneurs, representatives of the public sector, international organizations, civil society organizations and academia from Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, as well as Bolivia, Canada, Costa Rica, Ecuador, France, Greece, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Sweden, Switzerland and Uruguay.

The inauguration of the meeting was attended by high-level authorities from the Pacific Alliance countries: the Undersecretary of International Economic Relations of Chile, Rodrigo Yáñez, the Undersecretary for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights of Mexico, Martha Delgado Peralta, and the Vice Minister of Foreign Trade of Peru, Diego Llosa Velásquez, as well as, through a video message, by Vice Minister of Foreign Trade of Colombia, Laura Valdivieso Jiménez.

The opening to the panel of women entrepreneurs was moderated by Luz María de la Mora Sánchez, Undersecretary of Foreign Trade of Mexico and headed by Alejandra Villota, Senior Specialist of the Integration and Trade Sector of the IDB, who presented the main findings of the study Impact of COVID-19 on the operations of women-led businesses in the Pacific Alliance, as well as a series of recommendations for the prioritization of tools and policies to support the reactivation of companies led by women in the region.

The study was the product of collaborative work between the IDB and the governments of Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru through the Alliance’s Gender Technical Group. Using the ConnectAmericas for Women platform and the AP Women Entrepreneurs Community, a specialized survey was carried out to collect data that allowed to know the impact that COVID-19 and the confinement measures have had on the operation and management of companies led by and/or owned by women in the PA.

Four outstanding businesswomen from the Alliance member countries participated in the panel: Carolina Arce, Cofounder of Impactus Ventures; Roxanna Vergara, Cofounder and Commercial Director of Vendty; Perla Buenrostro, Founder of Bolder Group; and Violeta Quispe, entrepreneur of Artesanía, as well as ECLAC through the Director of the Gender Affairs Division, Ana Güezmes.

During the dialogue, the panelists shared the main obstacles, challenges, as well as strategies to face the effects of the pandemic and gender inequality from their companies. The importance of business access to technology, digitalization, financing and government support, as well as sales channels and international markets was highlighted, also the strategies that governments and the private sector must work together to reduce the differentiated impact on women and women-led businesses. ECLAC shared recommendations and key points that countries should consider to support women’s economic autonomy, taking as a reference its recent Special Report COVID-19 N⁰9: Women’s economic autonomy in sustainable recovery and with equality.

Closing remarks were given by Laura Valdivieso Jiménez, Vice Minister of Foreign Trade, Industry and Tourism of Colombia, María José Abud, Undersecretary for Women and Gender Equity of Chile, Nadine Gasman Zylbermann, President of the National Women’s Institute of Mexico, and Grecia Rojas Ortiz, Vice Minister of Women of Peru, who reiterated the support of their governments to move decisively towards the elimination of gender discrimination, through the empowerment of women and girls, as a necessary condition to achieve equitable, prosperous, peaceful and sustainable societies.

[1] https://alianzapacifico.net/download/declaracion-sobre-igualdad-de-genero/

Women from the Pacific Alliance and Mercosur train for the digital age

On the occasion, the results of a study on the characterization of women entrepreneurs and businesswomen of the Pacific Alliance, carried out in conjunction with the IDB, were also presented.

November 11, 2020. Nearly a hundred women entrepreneurs and businesswomen from the countries of the Pacific Alliance and Mercosur, participated today in the webinar “Women and International Trade: Promoting Women’s Entrepreneurship in the Digital Age”, organized by the Technical Group on Gender of the Pacific Alliance.

The activity was inaugurated by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Andrés Allamand, and of Women and Gender Equity, Mónica Zalaquett, from Chile. “I am convinced that supporting the social and economic empowerment of women is key to accelerating the necessary economic recovery at all levels. I firmly believe that events like today’s provide a space to share and deepen experiences of female economic empowerment through financial inclusion, digital inclusion, and labor inclusion, all of which highlight and encourage entrepreneurship from a gender perspective, which is more relevant today than ever before,” said Minister Allamand.

This activity stems from the urgent need to provide tools and accompany companies in their digital transformation process, especially those led by women, due to the persistence of the digital gender divide and the current health crisis that has made it even more visible.

“We are facing an economy that is suffering the ravages of the pandemic, and that has seen how the processes of digitalization have accelerated in the way of working and interacting. We also know that it will take longer to recover jobs and pay levels like those we used to know, and that encouraging female entrepreneurship and training women in applied technological skills is essential to accelerate sustainable progress. Women are key to the recovery of our countries,” said Minister Zalaquett.

The webinar began with the presentation of the main results of the study “Women entrepreneurs in foreign trade of the Pacific Alliance: who are they, what barriers do they face, and how can we enhance their growth and internationalization­?” by Alejandra Villota, Coordinator of ConnectAmericas for Women and Trade and Investment Specialist of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). This study sought to characterize women entrepreneurs in the PA, identify the main challenges they face in their commercial and export activities, and make recommendations to support the growth of their ventures and increase their participation in foreign trade.

“The study shows a clear x-ray of who the women entrepreneurs of the PA are, what are the main characteristics of their companies, and the barriers they face in their commercial and export activity. This characterization will guide the formulation of public policies and the development of activities and programs that more effectively support women entrepreneurs to grow their businesses and consolidate themselves in the dynamic engines of intraregional trade and employment recovery throughout the region,” explained Alejandra Villota.

In addition, Villota pointed out that an update of the study is being carried out, integrating the factor COVID-19 and its effect on women entrepreneurs and their business activities.

Afterwards, Marco Terán Aguilar, Digital Development Director of Fundación País Digital, made a presentation entitled “Restart your business: The power of digital transformation”, where he gave guidelines for the digital transformation that has had to be accelerated due to the pandemic and also to rethink organizations and make positive, sustainable and lasting changes.

The webinar audience was then directed to participate in four workshops, where participants were able to receive more detailed information on topics such as “Digital Monetization Models” (Ximena Jaramillo); “Boosting my business through the Experience #DigitalizationInclusiva” (Jennifer Fernandez); “Digital Transformation and Change Management” (Patricia Barrientos); and “Are people happy when you arrive, or when you leave? Post-Pandemic Leadership Challenges” (Carolina Angarita Barrientos).