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The women of Panama

Sharing work experiences, encouraging women’s involvement in different sectors of society, promoting women’s rights at the political, economic and social levels: these were the objectives of the conference Women, Food Security, the Eradication of Poverty and Incidence, held in recent weeks in Panama City with representatives from the four pastoral areas of Latin America and the Caribbean. It was noted at the meeting that in recent times the countries involved had undersigned major commitments with regard to women’s rights. But although all of them have ratified the Convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women (14 of them have even signed the optional protocol), the latest report of the United Nations on Progress of Women in Latin America and the Caribbean 2017 reports that there are still structural inequalities, for example as regards salaries or unpaid labour. Female unemployment is double that of men, with a salary disparity of 20 percent. Furthermore, 90 percent of low-income women participate in labour in conditions of informality and instability. According to the report, discrimination, sexual molestation and violence continue to be a scourge. And this is not all: 14 of the 25 countries with the highest rates of femicide are on this continent.

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St. Peter’s Square

June 20, 2018

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