The Foreign Ministry and the National Conference of Governors (CONAGO) today signed a cooperation agreement on compliance with Mexico's international commitments in gender equality and non-discrimination in the states, in order to achieve substantive equality between men and women; consolidate Mexico as a country of rights; and incorporate women into decision-making and the nation’s development.
This is an issue that concerns all Mexicans, because it is a matter of human rights, justice and the economy, but also because it is common sense to achieve this shared goal of promoting changes that allow women the full enjoyment of their rights, said Foreign Secretary Claudia Ruiz Massieu after signing the agreement with the governor of the state of Mexico, Eruviel Ávila, current CONAGO president, and Lorena Cruz, head of the National Institute for Women (INMUJERES), as witness of honor together with the governors of Coahuila and Yucatan, Rubén Moreira and Rolando Zapata, respectively.
The Foreign Secretary discussed the need to ensure that women, children and adolescents fully enjoy their rights, given the structural problems in the country and at the global level. There has been progress: 7% of heads of government are women, 17% are cabinet-level officials and 22% of legislators are women.
However, throughout the world, women earn 30% less pay than men on average for the same work; girls interrupt their studies due to lack of resources so that their brothers can go to school. This goes against all logic. When women have a stronger role in community or political decision-making, economies grow, societies become fairer and more resilient, she said.
Therefore, Mexico has decided to promote changes that allow women the full enjoyment of all their rights. "We have come a long way, and the president believes that his entire administration must adopt a gender perspective and the goal of achieving substantive equality between men and women," she added.
Foreign Secretary Ruiz Massieu said that the conviction of the federal government is not enough. It is crucial and strategic that there be coordination, conviction, joined forces and common goals between the states and the federal government in order to achieve this common purpose, which is why the cooperation agreement with CONAGO was being signed today.
INMUJERES President Lorena Cruz discussed the lack of recognition given to women in the economic sphere, specifically regarding their contribution to paid work and caregiving, and the various types of violence of which they are victims, including femicide, saying that they are examples of the most important challenges we face as a government and as a society, not only because they affect women and girls but also because they affect Mexico’s sustainable development by limiting the participation and potential of more than half of its population.
Today, we can say that we are making progress on the road to gender equality: we have a solid legal framework, with institutions, programs and comprehensive, multisectoral policies to promote the advancement of women; and budgets to promote affirmative actions for Mexican women. There is also strong political will to make progress on the road to equality, as seen by the signing of this agreement.
She said that Mexico is moving in the right direction and towards gender equality with public policies and initiatives. Nevertheless, synergies must be created urgently to ensure compliance and strengthen actions to prevent, punish and eradicate violence against women.
Current CONAGO President Eruviel Ávila reiterated the commitment of the National Conference of Governors, saying that it is up to the challenge of meeting the requirements and fulfilling the commitments to ensure that the states harmonize their laws, instruments and public policies as part of a system for the protection of women.
Yucatan Governor Rolando Zapata, CONAGO Coordinator for the Equality of Women and Men, said that Mexico has adopted as its own the international agreements on women’s rights, which are one more instrument that will help to change the structural causes. “We local governments responsibly assume our commitments.”
Lastly, Coahuila Governor Humberto Moreira, as CONAGO Human Rights Coordinator, expressed the support of the Mexican government, which includes the states of the union. He also encouraged the inclusion of women, by urging that half of the population to participate in decision-making, which would lead to less violence. When 50 million people join in, no one will stop the country.