GENDER EQUALITY AND PENSIONS: THE MOMENT IS NOW

We invite to read an interesting presentation of María Nieves Rico, Director of the Gender Affairs Division of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) presented in the framework of the International Seminar “Pension System: International Trends and Experiences”, held in Santiago, Chile on June 16, 2015.

The presentation addresses the issue of gender inequality in pension systems in Latin America and the progress and challenges to achieve greater inclusion of women in the formal sector.

Based on an analysis of the main causes of this inequality – greater unemployment, insertion in low-productivity sectors, wage gap, longer life expectancy, no payment of care work, etc. -Maria Nieves Rico highlights the main steps marked in Latin America towards a more equal access to the pension system. It should be mentioned, as an example, the social pensions in 16 countries in the region (although considered not sufficient), the same right of pension for domestic workers in Chile and Uruguay and the recognition of unpaid care work in Ecuador.

In spite of this, there are still many challenges that become more urgent as the demographic transition in Latin America, particularly in some countries, is leading to a gradual aging of society. The author concludes with a series of recommendations to achieve these challenges:

– Including a gender perspective in the analysis of pension systems as crucial to tackle problems of discrimination

– A new social pact for elderly to ensure recognition of care as women’s contribution to the tax base that makes it viable pension system.

– Retrieving a vision of Social Security based on the principles of universality, solidarity, equity and efficiency, as well as a minimum income in old citizens.

– Developing mechanisms to ensure conciliation of the principles of non-discrimination law and financial viability, where none of these approaches is subordinate to the other.

– Finally, a fiscal pact to expand resources to make sustainable in the long termpension systems and economic and social development.

Consult the presentation of Maria Nieves Rico “Towards universal pension systems. The challenges of gender equality” (in Spanish).