A Foreign Ministry whose guiding principle is gender equality?
The Woman Post | Ayda María Martínez Ipuz
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For Chile, this has been the case since Monday, June 12, when Minister Alberto van Klaveren and the Undersecretaries of Foreign Affairs, Gloria de la Fuente, and Economic and International Relations, Claudia Sanhueza, presented the Feminist Foreign Policy (PEF).
In this way, Chile becomes the first South American country with this type of diplomacy, joining other nations such as France, Canada, Germany, Spain, Luxembourg, and Mexico.
"It is a strategy of international insertion in line with the challenges posed by the global agenda," explained Undersecretary Gloria de la Fuente regarding the strategy of promoting human rights in diplomatic environments, which the country has been pushing for decades.
As the Minister explained, a Feminist Foreign Policy should not be seen as something strange: "It is the conviction to achieve a more equal world. It is a paradigm under construction, which will necessarily be updated, deepened, and strengthened along with the advances of society itself and the challenges of the future."
The PEF prioritizes incorporating gender equality into the exercise of democracy. This involves promoting greater empowerment and representation of women, deepening the agenda on women, peace, and security, addressing issues such as trade and gender, climate change, science, technology, and innovation, and promoting a comprehensive care system.
"Today, more than ever, Chile aspires to the development of policies and actions that promote the autonomy and empowerment of women in different spaces to build a more just, inclusive, and sustainable society," assured Undersecretary de la Fuente.
With this decision, Chile applies the gender principles contemplated in the design of its public policy. Steps had already been taken in the same direction in the field of trade.
"Chile has been a visionary country in this regard, including the first chapter on gender in a bilateral trade agreement with Uruguay, and later with Canada, Argentina, Ecuador, and recently with the European Union," said the Undersecretary for Economic and International Relations, who noted that "governments, international organizations, and the private sector can create the conditions to ensure a better distribution of benefits in international trade."
To adopt this structural decision, the government identified the obstacles to the exercise and deepening of democracy due to gender gaps, which create limitations for women in building a better life project. Thus, equality became a legal obligation arising from global treaties signed by Chile. This includes global and regional governance, allowing the identification of spaces for the creation and updating of international norms incorporating a gender perspective.
Institutionally, the Foreign Ministry will create the Gender Affairs Division, which will be responsible for implementing this policy, as well as coordinating work with the ministry's dependent agencies: the Directorate of Borders and Boundaries, ProChile, the Chilean Antarctic Institute, and the International Cooperation Agency.
Gender Equality from the United Nations Development Programme
As part of this strategy, Chile announced its commitment to obtaining the Gender Equality Seal for Public Institutions from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), for which it signed a collaboration agreement.
This will initiate a process to identify existing gender gaps within the institution and develop an action plan to address them. Once the program is completed, an external evaluation will be conducted for certification, recognizing the undersecretary as a service that meets gender equality standards, and providing crucial support for the implementation of the Feminist Foreign Policy.