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Women’s Economic Opportunities in the Formal Private Sector in Latin America and the Caribbean

Over the last decades, the Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region has made great progress in terms of promoting gender equality. In many countries in the region, girls have surpassed boys in education enrolment and completion. The ratio of girls’ to boys’ enrollment in primary school is 97% for the LAC Region, and girls’ secondary school enrollment equals or exceeds that of boys in 80% of countries in the region. Gains are also being made in reproductive health. Maternal deaths have dropped, and deliveries attended by skilled health personnel have increased.
Progress in terms of institutional reform for gender equality has also been steady, following the Beijing platform and the signing of international conventions – such as the Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) – by most countries in the region. Institutional reforms have included: changes in National Constitutions, the creation of Women Affairs Ministries or Institutes, reforms to the Civil Code, penalization of Gender-Based Violence, and the implementation of gender equality policies. In politics, progress has been steady, although the share of women in local and national governments is still below 50 percent in most countries, and even lower at the local level (…).

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