DIRECTORY OF NATIONAL
DEALING WITH PROGRAMMES AND POLICIES ON WOMEN
IN LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN
Information received up until December 1999
||British Virgin Islands||United States Virgin Islands||Jamaica
||Dominican Republic||Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||Saint
|Saint Kitts and
||Trinidad and Tobago||Uruguay
Since the first version issued in 1997, the Directory
of national organizations dealing with programmes and policies on women in Latin America
and the Caribbean (LC/L.1065) lists national authorities for the advancement of
women and gender equity, specific programmes organized by ministries of foreign affairs
and other official bodies responsible for women's issues at the sectoral level in each
member State and associate members of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the
Caribbean (ECLAC). For the purposes of this update, countries were once again requested to
provide information on each of these entities -their position within the system of
government, political status, terms of reference and administrative capabilities,
staffing, financial resources, functions and activities- and to draw attention to any new
developments or insert amendments to existing information, as appropriate. It is important
to mention that the Cuban State granted the Federation of Cuban Women, an NGO with
consultative status at ECOSOC with special category, the status of national mechanism for
the advancement of women.
One notable improvement in this second edition is that information is substantially more comprehensive and that many countries have streamlined the way in which their national data is presented. A comparison with the information in the first edition also suggests that this improvement is a reflection of progress in institutionalizing the gender perspective in national organizations in terms of where national authorities on women's issues fit into the national hierarchy and in terms of the staff placed at their disposal and the range of State functions that they fulfil. The listings for each country reflect the establishment of a wide range of sectoral and national mechanisms, which are developing into an integrated network of programmes and policies for women at different levels of decision-making.
These amendments are in keeping with the original purpose of the Directory, namely, to enable countries of the region to share experiences on institutionalizing the issue of gender equity and development and to provide them with an instrument for tracking progress made in meeting Strategic Objective II.1 of the Regional Programme of Action for Women of Latin America and the Caribbean, 1995-2001.1/ This Directory is a working tool, which, from one edition to the next, gives an overview of the national institutions established to promote gender equity in the region, showing how far government bodies dealing with women's issues have succeeded in securing an official place in the State apparatus and whether this is reflected in any real power, insofar as power may be considered as continuous and guaranteed access to State instruments and resources. In this regard, a first attempt to classify and analyse the material in the Directory demonstrates the close link between formal/substantive power and the upper echelons of executive power. 2/
1/ "To create or strengthen the political, administrative, legislative and financial capacity of government institutions that formulate, coordinate and evaluate public policies aimed at imporving the status of women and promoting gender equity, and to ensure that such entities become a permanent part of the highest level of the State apparatus".
2/ See ECLAC, The institutionality of gender equity in the State: a diagnosis for Latin America and the Caribbean (LC/L.1150), Santiago, Chile, 1998.