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In discussion on women in foreign policy:

Undersecretary Valdivia emphasizes the goal of strengthening women's presence in decision-making positions

Tuesday, 10 March, 2020

The Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs, Carolina Valdivia, headed this morning the discussion "Women in Foreign Policy: the experiences of Canada, Mexico, Norway and Sweden", as part of the commemoration of Women's Day.

Ambassadors from these countries participated in the activity, in order to share their experiences in the implementation of measures for greater gender equity in the public sector. In addition, the challenges that arise on the way to a foreign policy with greater female participation were addressed.

"It is clear that a society is more prosperous, more just, healthier and why not, happier, when men and women enjoy equal opportunities and rights," said the Undersecretary. "We know that gender equality is not reduced to mere quantitative equity, but also implies breaking down stereotypes, overcoming resistance, broadening the outlook; in short, achieving a cultural change that can no longer wait," she added.

On their side, the ambassadors explained how measures oriented towards gender equality in their nations have influenced their foreign policy, for example, by substantially increasing the number of women ambassadors or by involving women in peace processes, with a view to increasing the likelihood of reaching sustainable agreements.

Under Secretary Valdivia said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will continue its commitment to moving forward on gender equality. Among the efforts being made to promote the presence of women in decision-making positions in Chile and abroad, as well as to make their contribution visible in the Ministry, she recalled the work being done by the jurist and Ambassador María Teresa Infante in her candidacy for the Law of the Sea Tribunal.

She also highlighted the programmes aimed at creating public policies that integrate the gender perspective into all areas of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' work, such as consular issues and international trade. Meanwhile, within the framework of the Pacific Alliance, she stressed that Chile is leading the development of the "Road Map for the economic empowerment of women in the Pacific Alliance 2020-2030", to identify targeted actions towards the full economic incorporation of women in the region.

Women in high positions

During the afternoon, Undersecretary Carolina Valdivia participated as a special guest in the talk "The role of women in foreign trade", together with ProChile's commercial directors and women leaders of export guilds in various fields.

On this occasion, she said that the participation of women in high positions allows them to "give a different view. Many times we are much more transverse: we want to hear different opinions, because all views contribute."

At the event, organized by ProChile in the framework of the export meeting "A Bridge to the World", the Undersecretary also recognized the "valuable contribution" made by the women who were part of the Chilean defense team before the International Court of Justice, in the case "Obligation to negotiate access to the Pacific Ocean", of which she was a member.