SANTIAGO, July 30 (Xinhua) -- Improving working and social conditions for women in Latin America is "indispensable" to regional sustainable development, the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) said on Monday.
The Santiago-based agency said in a press release that making progress on women's autonomy and gender equality in Latin America and the Caribbean is "not just a matter of social justice", it is also "an indispensable factor for the sustainable development of the region's countries."
Ministers of women's affairs were gathered at ECLAC's headquarters on Monday for a two-day meeting of the Presiding Officers of the Regional Conference on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean.
At the gathering, Alicia Barcena, ECLAC's executive secretary, called on countries to apply policies designed to promote gender equality, such as the Montevideo Strategy for Implementation of the Regional Gender Agenda, which will be evaluated at the 14th Conference on Women to be held in 2019 in Santiago.
"We are convinced that untying the critical knots of gender inequality that are addressed in the Montevideo Strategy is a question of justice and that we must urgently move from the culture of privilege to the culture of rights and of equality," said Barcena.
Isabel Pla, Chile's minister of women and gender equity, said that as the host of the upcoming conference, the government has "proposed to make significant leaps forward in the matter of gender equity."