The importance of economic autonomy for women's freedom, according to experts

The importance of economic autonomy for women’s freedom, according to experts

On the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, the Organization of Business Women of Uruguay (OMEU) organized the Women Leaders Forum in which —among various activities— a discussion on the economic autonomy of women was held.

A conversation that allows us to know where we stand; And reflect”, said Malena Castaldi, the moderator of the panel made up of Mónica Bottero, director of the Institute for Women (Inmujeres) of the Ministry of Social Development; Magdalena Furtado, leader of the UN Women project for Uruguay and Anabela Aldaz, president of OMEU.

Furthermore, Castaldi added: “We have the chance to hear voices from the different areas that work together to change this reality.”.

At the beginning of the panel, Bottero focused on the importance of economic autonomy whyIt is the one that generates almost all gender inequalities”.

It is that for a woman to have economic autonomy is to make decisions without depending on another; that is, to dispose of her income as she wishes. For Bottero, she is a concept linked to freedom.

But as he said, what may seem very obvious is not practiced as much in 2022.

Why? Because there is a dimension that limits the economic autonomy of women; the care. According to the director of Inmujeres, the fact that women spend more than a third of their time caring for children, adults, or the home has an economic retaliation because this is a free contribution that women make society, framed in the idea of ​​love and affection.

By the way, Furtado explained that time is distributed unequally between women and men. As he said during his participation in the panel, two thirds of the burden of unpaid work falls on women Therefore, they can only have a third to generate economic autonomy in the labor market. For men, that’s the other way around.

This generates a lack of economic autonomy, and perpetuates situations of violence”, affirmed the leader of the UN Women project for Uruguay.

In this sense —and since the event was held on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women— he pointed out that this is the most widespread human rights violation in the world and recalled that last year 81,000 women and girls were murdered globally.

“To eradicate violence, we must become aware, move forward,” he said.

and introduced the concept of care societywhich implies generating a social reflection that allows move towards a social contract change: “If we continue with this foundation, we will continue with all the obstacles to advance on all other issues of inequality and violence.”

That is what OMEU works for, and according to Aldaz, “sUndoubtedly there is much to be done, but the bases are laid”.

Regarding the work that is done from the organization, he said that it has three verticals: the development of executive women, businesswomen and entrepreneurs.

During his participation in the conversation, Castaldi took the opportunity to consult him about the organization’s work during the pandemic: moment in which there was a setback of more than a decade in the levels of labor participation of women in the regionaccording to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).

Aldaz said that it meant a great challenge for OMEU, since they already had all the programs ready to start them in face-to-face format. The organization had to quickly reconvert itself, knowing that it was the time when there was the greatest need to be close to the community of women.

But just as it was a challenge, it was also an opportunity because it allowed —in an absolutely accelerated rearrangement— Create different tools to reach more women across the country.

I think that as an organization we came out stronger, because after we returned to face-to-face, we continued with these activities virtually and that allowed the programs to spread throughout the country.”, affirmed the president of OMEU. “It has enabled us to work very seriously on what has to do with economic autonomy,” she added.

To conclude, Aldaz affirmed that OMEU is with its high beams on. “Some lights as a beacon, because we do not want any woman behind”, he finished.

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