18 October 2018
La UE organiza varias actividades dentro del Mes Europeo de la Ciberseguridad, un tema que aborda EL PAcCTO contra el crimen organizado
Cambiar las contraseñas, configurar los ajustes de privacidad o contratar un antivirus son los pasos previos por excelencia antes de navegar por Internet. Consejos cada vez más básicos para evitar los riesgos o peligros a los que nos exponemos en la red de redes, y que necesitan de una información actualizada constantemente.
Por ello, la Unión Europea organiza cada año varias actividades, dentro del Mes Europeo de la Ciberseguridad (ECSM), dedicadas a compartir buenas prácticas y promover la ciberseguridad entre los ciudadanos y organizaciones. En la sexta edición de esta campaña de sensibilización participa la Agencia de Ciberseguridad europea (ENISA), la Comisión Europea y unos 200 socios en toda la región.
«La ciberseguridad es una responsabilidad compartida — Deténgase. Piense. Conéctese» es el lema para 2018, que refleja un paso previo a la acción en el mundo digital, donde todo es accesible e instantáneo. Pensar. Pensar qué compartimos, qué escribimos o dónde clicamos.
El director de operaciones de la ENISA, Steve Purser, decía para La Vanguardia que hay que “desarrollar un sentido común electrónico”. Es decir, “debemos comportarnos de una manera similar en el mundo electrónico y en el real”, no dar respuesta o proporcionar datos sin pensar para qué van a ser utilizados.
Una actitud que va calando en los ciudadanos y que nos hace desconfiar de correos no deseados o páginas web que saltan literalmente a nuestra pantalla. A pesar de ello, muchos usuarios caen frente a las estafas o sustracciones de toda la vida que ahora también tienen su versión online.
Peligros de los que nos habla Antonio Roma, coordinador de cooperación entre sistemas de justicia de EL PAcCTO, que asegura que el problema es que “los delincuentes siempre van un poco por delante y encuentran otras maneras de llegarnos”. Más graves serían los delitos informáticos propiamente dichos, como los virus que entran en nuestros equipos a través de archivos, o los ataques masivos que “afectan a la seguridad general e incluso nacional”, comenta Roma.
Ataques que muchas veces escapan de nuestro control, pero ante los que también hay que estar prevenidos. Por ello, el coordinador de justicia del programa financiado por la Unión Europea y gestionado por la FIIAPP y Expertise France, en colaboración con el Instituto Ítalo-Latino Americano (IILA) y el Instituto Camoes de Portugal, destaca que campañas como las de la UE son necesarias porque son “medidas que conviene recordar, actualizar los conocimientos, las formas de amenaza y sensibilizar al público”.
Con este objetivo, alrededor de 400 actividades se organizan en varios países de Europa: conferencias, talleres dirigidos a usuarios, seminarios web, campañas, etc. Madrid, Barcelona, Zaragoza o Valencia son algunas de las ciudades escogidas para alertar sobre “un fenómeno que está en crecimiento”, según Roma. A nivel de concienciación, asegura que “es necesario no perder la perspectiva de que hace falta tener seguridad”.
Nuestra intimidad, a un clic
Según el informe de la ENISA, publicado a principios de este año, la principal amenaza para los usuarios es el malware o “software malicioso”, dentro del que se encuentran los virus que nos llegan a través de Internet y del correo electrónico sin nuestro conocimiento.
Un peligro al que siguen en el ranking los ataques informáticos y el phishing o “suplantación de identidad”, una estafa para conseguir los datos privados de los usuarios, especialmente de acceso a sus cuentas bancarias.
Estos datos quedan frecuentemente registrados en nuestros equipos. Y es que el aumento de nuestra actividad en la red, ya sea abriendo cuentas en diferentes páginas o publicando nuestra vida a través de las redes sociales, hace que nuestra intimidad quede cada vez más expuesta a estas amenazas.
Un riesgo potenciado con el uso de los teléfonos móviles, como precio de una mayor accesibilidad. Antonio Roma destaca en esta parte el contacto cada vez más temprano de los menores con diferentes dispositivos.
“Antes el consejo era tener el ordenador en el salón de casa” comenta. Un consejo anticuado para salvaguardar su intimidad ante los actuales casos de bullying y, en el peor de los casos, pornografía infantil. Frente a esta situación, “conviene siempre alertar al menor de cuál es su defensa y de que su intimidad es un gran valor”, recomienda Roma.
¿Qué aporta la cooperación?
Internet es una red mundial y aunque los delitos pueden cometerse desde el ordenador vecino, también pueden estafarnos desde servidores ubicados en otros países. Aquí es donde entra en juego la cooperación, muchas veces infructuosa según Roma, cuando el dinero de una sustracción acaba en “países lejanos que no colaboran eficazmente”.
A pesar de las llamadas “jurisdicciones opacas”, asegura que “la cooperación judicial ha evolucionado” y que, por ejemplo, existen nuevos sistemas para congelar direcciones IP. El factor tiempo es la principal dificultad: “llegar tarde” cuando la policía no ayuda o no está capacitada. Esta especialización, junto a la tecnología, son según Roma las tareas pendientes en este terreno.
El cibercrimen y la ciberseguridad son temas que preocupan a EL PAcCTO y en los que se trabaja transversalmente desde todas las áreas del programa: policial, judicial y penitenciaria. El programa financiado por la Unión Europea asiste a los países latinoamericanos contra el crimen organizado, que actúa también a través de la red.
El objetivo es tratar el tema a nivel regional, además de las preocupaciones de países concretos, “poniendo en marcha operaciones para ver cuáles son los problemas, dónde están los nudos, para que la cooperación pueda fluir de una manera eficaz”.
06 September 2018
How do you fight against drug trafficking in a coca leaf producing country? We know the case of Bolivia together with the project to support institutions in this taskProject formation in Bolivia
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) states in its report on coca leaf crops in Bolivia that the country has more than 20,000 legal hectares. An extension concentrated on two main areas: the area of the Yungas, in the Department of La Paz; and the area of Chapare, in the Tropic of Cochabamba.
The UNODC thus provides information to the Bolivian government on the amount and geographical location of the crops, since part of the coca leaf is diverted to illicit trafficking. The Bolivian Police and other institutions involved are trying to avoid this product becoming an international drug. This report allows them to develop strategies and policies for their control.
These institutions also have the support in this task of a project managed by the FIIAPP , in coordination with the National Council for the Fight against Illicit Drug Trafficking (CONALTID), with funds from the European Union and the AECID (Spanish International Development Cooperation Agency). And the paradox is even more difficult to tackle when the coca leaf is a cultural product.
The farmer is not the trafficker
Javier Navarro is one of the experts of the project. The Spanish National Police inspector recalls that “the consumption of coca leaf is something that is deeply rooted in their customs.” In Bolivia, the product is consumed directly with the acullico (chewing the coca leaf itself with other products that sweeten it) or is used for yerba mate or sweets.
Its production is managed through cooperatives. Each registered farmer has the right to grow one cato (1,600 square metres plot) of coca. The product would reach the legal market after going through the cooperative. The problem is that not all production follows that path.
Part of the coca leaf enters “parallel circuits” and with it the base paste from which cocaine hydrochloride comes out is made. Once this substance is obtained, we speak of trafficking itself, explains the police inspector. There are also illegal crops “in border areas or areas that are difficult to access”.
None of the farmers, however, cooperate on this, they just live on it. “The producer does not have the profile of a trafficker,” says Navarro, and even if they acted unlawfully, they would be the smallest link in the entire drug trafficking chain.
Javier Navarro also points out that “Bolivia is not only a producer, but also a transit country”, mainly due to geographical issues. The base paste comes to the country from Peru, which is also a producer, to carry out the so-called “purification” in laboratories.
And he provides an important fact: “One kilo of cocaine hydrochloride costs 2,500 dollars in Bolivia. When it arrives in Spain, it costs 35,000 dollars.” Once again, Spain acts as a transit country: from here cocaine is exported to France, Italy or Great Britain with the resulting price increase. A journey that makes it a transnational problem.
What is the aim of the project?
To deal with this problem, members of the Civil Guard and the National Police work on this project with Bolivian officers in the fight against drug trafficking and related crimes, such as money laundering and human trafficking. Action is additionally taken at borders and airports.
In particular, the Special Force to Fight against Drug Trafficking is formed, specialised units spread over several areas of Bolivia. Drug trafficking is the dominant sector in organised crime. The changes in its methods of organisation and action require constant adaptation in the devices and strategies fighting this problem.
This training that has been complemented by visits to Spain to learn about the procedures of the Spanish security forces, for example, in intelligence and criminal investigation.
After two years of work, “the project is consolidated and it is the institutions themselves that come to it”, explains Javier Navarro. Among other things, the investigations have been addressed in a more comprehensive way. This is, according to the inspector, to not only stop the trafficker, but also to have the organisations dismantled.
This work is completed with the citizens’ awareness through some communication activities. The last of these, a workshop for journalists in which they worked on how to adequately communicate on such sensitive issues.
Projects for a transnational problem
Until recently, the FIIAPP managed a similar project in Peru , an example of good results with the dismantling of more than one hundred criminal organisations dedicated to illicit drug trafficking. The Foundation is also present in this operational dimension with the SEACOP project, for the fight against maritime drug trafficking.
There are also regional programmes to add to the public policies of Latin American countries. This is the case of EL PAcCTO against transnational organised crime or COPOLAD , which covers the social and health dimension.
Other projects follow the most important drug trafficking routes, such that of as heroin. EU-ACT operates in 30 countries in Central Asia, the East Coast of Africa and Eastern Europe, and works to improve the effectiveness of police and judicial bodies, as well as to prevent drug use.
28 June 2018
The revolutions in North Africa and in the Middle East initiated democratic reforms, but also left space for threats such as terrorism. In both cases, cooperation has played and continues to play a determining roleTunisia was the country where the Arab Spring started
In 2011, people took to the streets of the Middle East and North Africa. The Arab world called for democracy and rights in their countries through popular protests that were included in the concept of Arab Spring. Seven years later, the changes are not entirely noteworthy. Armed conflicts and terrorism have curtailed many of those expectations. However, political, economic and social reforms were initiated, which in some cases continue to develop at a slower pace.
These are processes in which cooperation has played and can play a determining role, contributing experiences from other countries that have gone through similar situations or confronting threats that slow down development. In this context of transition, several projects in the region are managed by FIIAPP with European Union funding. Those that have to do with justice and security particularly stand out.
Tunisia was the first country where revolution was mentioned. Since then, “there has been a first democratic election, a constituent government and an approval of the Constitution in 2014”. This was explained by Ángel Llorente, coordinator of the project to accompany judicial reform in the country that ends this year. The objective has been to carry out “an organisational reform as a consequence of the process of democratic transition” in the Ministry of Justice. And to create from there an independent judiciary that had never existed in Tunisia.
Despite some resistance that could have meant a step backwards, Llorente believes that civil society will not let that happen: “They are very aware of their rights, I think it is very difficult that they could now give up something that has cost them a lot to achieve”. An enthusiasm that reminds him of Spain a few years ago.
EuroMed Justice IV is also committed to improving judicial systems. In this case, in the southern region of the Mediterranean. Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, and Syria are working together with the Spanish and French Ministries of Justice to create an efficient, democratic system that respects human rights and is consistent with international regulations .
In its fourth phase, the project is also part of the EU’s neighbourhood strategy. Most of these countries are included in the European Neighbourhood Policy, which was revised precisely in the context of the Arab world revolutions to provide better support in their democratic transitions. After all, its main objective is to strengthen relations with neighbouring countries in the community space, based on common values – democracy, human rights and the rule of law – and to promote greater economic integration, mobility and stability.
Relationships that, in the case of EuroMed Justice IV seek a necessary international judicial cooperation, according to Victoria Palau, coordinator of the project. “There are problems, such as terrorism, cybercrime and human trafficking, that, if not resolved at the regional level, are impossible to address,” she says. In this context, the project witnessed the first declaration of collaboration between European public prosecutors and the Mediterranean countries, to work together to address these problems.
Judicial cooperation is also one of the components of the project for the application of the Rule of Law in the Horn of Africa and Yemen, the objective of which is to fight against security threats. In particular, it works to improve the capabilities of the intelligence services, the security forces, and the prosecutors and courts.
Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Uganda, Yemen and Djibouti are the countries that benefit from this project funded through the Instrument for Stability and Peace (IcSP). What happens in these countries, even if they are not included in the neighbouring region of the EU, does affect the continent.
In addition, it is an example of how terrorist groups take advantage of moments of political instability to act. “When there is a power vacuum, these groups always try to sneak in with more or less success,” says Javier Vega, project coordinator. In the end, terrorism is an increasingly global threat with an important focus in this geographical área.
The key is to act regionally so that it does not spread to the rest of the world. For example, by controlling the territory as is also done in the Sahel region – through the Rapid Action Groups – and in Niger, more focused on illegal immigration.
The European Security Agenda underlines the need to take measures to deal with this threat in a more effective and comprehensive way, including the international community and cooperation projects. One of the latter, also managed by FIIAPP, focuses specifically on the fight against terrorism in the MENA region (Middle East and North Africa).
Work that, according to Mariano Guillén, director of the Justice and Security Area with FIIAPP, also seeks to “strengthen the political dialogue within the Arab League”, to favour cooperation among the countries of the region. Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Syria and Palestine are the countries that, despite their political, economic and social differences, work to find common responses to terrorism. “The terrorist threat does not distinguish the levels of development in the countries and it can only be attacked through cooperation,” says Mariano Guillén.
The instability of the changes leaves room for security threats that do not recognise borders. But the same changes are necessary if we see them as an opportunity to improve, as a good time to draw on similar experiences while working together on those problems that affect us all.
31 May 2018
A number of projects managed by FIAPP are taking part in the European Development Days 2018, with gender equality as the overarching themeEDD 2017 also had a focus on gender
“Women and Girls at the Forefront of Sustainable Development: protect, empower, invest” is the slogan chosen for the European Development Days 2018, which will be held next week in Brussels. On 5 and 6 June, the capital of Europe will also be the capital of development.
This is because, this year, the days organized by the European Commission have gender equality as their central theme. As well as promoting the participation of women in the various forums, this edition hopes to make this a safer, more open and more inclusive world for all of them.
The most important development event in the world, which is open to the public, will pack 500 meetings into two days, in which more than 2,600 speakers will take part. Among them will be 7 Nobel laureates and 100 world leaders. FIAPP will also be attending the European Development Days (EDD) to represent four of the projects that it manages: EUROsociAL+, Bridging the Gap, Triangular Cooperation and EUROCLIMA+.
The EUROsociAL+ programme promotes cooperation and dialogue between the European Union and Latin America on promoting public policies to improve social cohesion and reduce inequality in Latin America.
However, for Enrique Martínez, Communication technician for the programme, “these public policies are only effective when they attack the inequality gap between men and women, a challenge and a goal that are strongly etched into the EUROsociAL+ DNA”.
This is why, in Brussels, the programme is sharing three advances in gender equality policies, in Paraguay and Mexico and, at the regional level, in Latin America. In addition European transfer on this subject.
The executive director of the Social Cabinet of the Office of the President of Paraguay, Mirta Denis, the executive secretary of the Mexican Institute for Women, Marcela Eternod, the director of Fundación Género y Sociedad, Ana Isabel García Quesada, and the French State Counsellor, Marisol Touraine, make up “100% female EUROsociAL+ panel as a contribution to this collective journey to full equality”, said Martínez. In addition, the round table discussion will be opened and closed by Jolita Butkeviciene, Director for Latin America and the Caribbean at the European Commission Directorate General for International Cooperation and Development.
The Bridging the gap project is also taking part in the 2018 European Development Days, with a session on Women on the rise – no one left behind!, organized jointly by the EU Social Protection Systems Programme and the NGO Light for the World. This is the presentation video:
The aim of this session, according to Carmen Serrano, the project’s communications technician, is to “show that, in spite of the two-fold discrimination that disabled women face, they are spearheading sustainable development in low-income countries”. Four women will therefore share their experiences of gender and disability issues based on the different viewpoints tackled by the three viewpoints structuring the session: Social protection, leadership and entrepreneurship, and access to work and economic empowerment. It will be moderated by Hisayo Katsui, a researcher into and expert teacher on disabilities.
However, said Serrano, “The aim of presenting “Bridging the Gap” at this great European event is not just to share experiences but to create a dialogue and reflection on the role of women with disabilities in their communities”. This is why they have chosen to use the format of a Brainstorming lab. For 75 minutes, there will be constant interaction between the speakers and the audience so as to collect inputs and ideas on how everyone can create awareness among those around them of the contribution that women with disabilities can make to society.
The Evalúa project, which seeks to promote Public Policy Evaluation in Latin America and the Caribbean, will attend the EDD’s for the first time to talk about some of the results obtained since its inception in 2014.
The project coordination team will attend this international cooperation forum to present one of its most recent projects, the results of the evaluation of the Costa Rican Gender Equality Policy. Also, the management, led by the Ministry of Planning (MIDEPLAN) evaluation team, will be represented by Ericka Valerio, from the Evaluation and Monitoring department.
The project is part of the ADELANTE programme, which aims to improve integration in Latin American and Caribbean countries and to contribute to their reaching their development goals (SDG). The EDD will be an important place for presenting the major conclusions and recommendations of that public policy evaluation and the planned use of this evaluation as an input to the following stages.
According to Alina Orrico, a project technician, “It is especially important to take part in this event, in which there are much fewer Latin American experiences than from other continents and, above all, because it is taking place in a year filled with emotions, demands and allusions to the need to present tangible answers that will guarantee gender equality.”
EUROCLIMA+ is the European Commission’s regional programme to promote environmentally sustainable development in Latin America. This action benefits the most vulnerable population groups, focusing in particular on gender, the impoverished rural population and indigenous peoples.
During the event, a video will be projected on Gender and Climate Change and an information map of Latin America will be drawn using gender-related information.
EUROCLIMA+ helps countries to develop their Nationally Determined Contributions or NDCs to the Paris Agreement. NDCs reflect the commitment of the international community to facing up to the effects of climate change.
According to Alexandra Cortés, an expert in Communication and Visibility for the programme, NDCs “promote the inclusion of climate action in a policy framework that can lead to economic growth and social development, in addition to protecting the environment and climatic resilience”.
13 April 2018
The Ghana-ARAP Project relies on institutions to get the public involved. According to Transparency International, sub-Saharan Africa is the worst–rated region in this respectMinistry of Justice of Ghana
“Having to pay for a service we have a right to receive – do you think that is corruption?” Barbara Mensah asks the people of Ghana, referring to one of the most burning questions of our time. She is one of the Civic Education Officers responsable for investigating perceptions of corruption in Ghana.
“I am going to ask about certain practices, you tell me if you think they are corrupt” was the question put by another of these officers, Jafaru Omar. Through a questionnaire, officers appointed by Ghana’s National Commission for Civic Eduction (NCCE) survey the views of citizens in different parts of the country.
On the ground, the findings are already clear: of the 8672 responses, over half those surveyed (58.4%) have been witnesses to some form of corruption. Henrrieta Assante-Sharpong, in charge of the investigation, says: “the findings show that although Ghanaians are aware of corruption, they have very little knowledge of the various ways it may be practised.”
The NCCE was set up for the purpose of increasing public awareness: “Our lives are going backwards. We don’t have roads, there is no electricity. The money gained from corruption could have been used for these services”, says Aluliga Malpang, a farmer from the Tengzuk Community. Sub-Saharan Africa is the worst-rated region for corruption, according to the most recent report from Transparency International.
Cooperation in a hostile climate
The report on the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) rates 180 countries and territories according to perceived levels of corruption in the public sector, using a scale of zero to 100, where zero is extremely corrupt and 100 highly transparent.
New Zealand and Denmark are highest-placed in 2017, with scores of 89 and 88 respectively. Syria, South Sudan and Somalia have the lowest scores, with 14, 12 and 9 respectively. Ghana is in 81st place, with 40 points – a score above the average for the sub-Saharan region (32 points).
Nevertheless, the study shows that over two-thirds of countries had scores below 50. Transparency International works internationally and locally in over 100 countries in the world: “giving a voice to the victims of corruption, working with governments, undertakings and citizens to stop the abuse of power or bribery”. It states that most countries are making little or no progress in putting an end to corruption.
Ghana does not want to be in that category. Its initiative is part of the Anti-Corruption, Rule of Law and Accountability” programme. It is a project in support of transparency, with the aim of reducing corruption and improving accountability in the African country. For four and a half years, FIIAPP has been managing this programme, financed by the European Union, in collaboration with GIZ (Germany) and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
“I want to help solve the corruption problem”, said Joseph Samuel Bebefiankom, a student in Kwashieman (Accra). Like him, other citizens say “it could be reduced, cut back”, “that will provide jobs for a lot of people” “it will help the country to develop.” They know what they want to achieve, but not how to achieve it.
A number of Ghanaian public institutions such as the NCCE, in collaboration with FIIAPP, have designed a strategy to involve the public, as well as others, in the struggle against corruption. One of the priorities of Ghana-ARAP is to raise their awareness of the importance of reporting it.
The more leaders that get involved, the less corruption there will be
The África no es un país [‘Africa is not one country’] blog reminds us, in the same report, that “2017 has seen the fall of a number of rulers accused of encouraging corruption”: Yahya Jammeh in Gambia, José Eduardo dos Santos in Angola, Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe and, already in 2018, Jacob Zuma of South Africa.
George Obeng Obei is another Civic Education Officer. He says “people without much education don’t know how things are done in assemblies and in institutions. But they do believe there are elements of corruption in them”, Not knowing how it works doesn’t mean they don’t see it. They know, they are aware, according to Obeng Obei, that you can only get things with money. And this mindset has to be changed.
According to Transparency International, it is the right time to “redefine” the problem in Africa, as, in some cases, the CPI points to a “hopeful future” for the continent. In spite of being the worst region overall, some countries have made significant progress, such as Botswana (61), which has a higher rating than Spain (59).
The key, according to the organisation, is that these countries have “a political leader committed to fighting corruption.” That is why they go further in developing laws and institutions in this regard. Ghana is making efforts in this direction, and its government has introduced a National Anti-corruption Action Plan (NACAP) to steer the project.
If the public at large also gets involved, success will be one step closer. The president of the NCCE, Josephine Nkrumah, knows this. She assesses the investigation conducted in the country: “NCCE will use this report to create civic education actions. To win the battle, we have to get both the public and the private sector involved. And what is even more important is getting every Ghanaian man and woman involved.”
“Winning the fight against corruption” is the African Union (AU)’s motto for 2018. This phrase could be said to apply to almost the whole world. It stems from the premise that “corruption rewards those who disobey the rules, destroying all the endeavours of constructive, just and equitable governance”.
The areas investigated in Ghana are shown in this video:
08 March 2018
Agenda 2030 counts on cooperation as a tool for advancing the gender equality that is being publicly demanded
“On International Women’s Day, we must commit ourselves to doing everything possible to overcome entrenched prejudices, support participation and activism, and promote gender equality and the empowerment of women”. These are the words of António Guterres, Secretary General of the United Nations, on International Women’s Day. Another 8 March for reflecting on what has been achieved and what remains to be done in terms of equality.
In 1995, almost 200 governments signed a historic road map in Beijing for achieving equal women’s rights. Two decades later, movements in favour of that equality continue to fill the streets and social networks throughout the world. In the face of this joint and global progress, international cooperation can be a key tool to achieving this equality.
Mar Merita, a technician specialising in gender with the EUROsociAL+ programme – which is funded by the European Commission and managed by FIIAPP – affirms how much innovation has taken place regarding the role of women in the Agenda 2030 framework for cooperation.
From ensuring that children have an equitable and high quality education, through ending all forms of discrimination and violence against women and girls throughout the world, to making equality one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) established by several world leaders for a better world in 2030.
Equality in the EU
Gender equality is also one of the founding values of the European Union, which closely follows these development objectives. It also analyses progress towards these objectives through a periodic study.
The latest one (Sustainable Development in the European Union, 2017) provides data on four specific areas that serve as indicators when evaluating the goal of equality: gender violence, access to education, employment and positions of responsibility.
Gender violence is a reality in the EU in 2012. Where one in three women say they have experienced physical or sexual violence since they were 15 years old. This problem is the cause and consequence of inequality, and the fight against it begins the moment children gain access to education.
However, the fact that men drop out of school earlier and women are more successful in this area is not reflected in the employment rate of recent graduates, which is higher for men. In addition, the proportion of men of working age in employment exceeds that of working women by 11.6%.
Employment is one of the areas that is most linked to gender roles, family responsibilities and traditions. And it is reflected in the wage gap: in 2015, according to the same study, women earned 16.3% less per hour than men. The same difference as 5 years ago.
Progress has a cost in what Mar calls the “third generation of rights”, which would include this difference in wages that continues to be significant in most countries. According to the expert from EUROsociAL+, despite the progress in the recognition of political rights, there is still work to be done regarding social, cultural and economic rights; through which that “real equality” would be achieved.
The distribution of political positions and positions of responsibility also reflects inequality, since women do not usually have as much representation as men in decision-making processes. While the proportion of seats held by women in national parliaments has increased since 2003, women still held less than one third (28.9%) of these seats in 2017.
Cooperation as a tool
Many of these issues, such as the wage gap and sexual harassment, are the focus of current events. These have included public denunciations, with a strong international impact, which nevertheless need “processes for dealing with these problems”.
Dominique de Suremain, coordinator of the gender equity policy area for the EUROsociAL+ programme, believes she sees “less visible work for change” when these demands materialise and are reflected in the system.
This is where cooperation comes into play, it has an essential role in the implementation of public policies that take these demands into account. It is important, according to Dominique, “to introduce that concern into the design of the projects” from the outset. It is a cross-cutting issue that must not only be applied in social projects, but it is also relevant for all the themes.
An example would be the gender focus workshop organised by ARAP Ghana – an anti-corruption project managed by FIIAPP – or the inclusion of this perspective in the activities of Euroclima+. In the end, inequality is inherent in the society in which it occurs and it influences the problems that society addresses.
However, this approach is often insufficient to achieve real equality. We must go beyond the diagnosis, the indicators, to quantify how many women have benefited: “We must take advantage of cooperation projects in order to play a proactive role,” according to Dominique.
Perhaps for this reason, EUROsociAL+ is one of the first programmes to create an exclusive thematic area to address this problem. A strong gender component or axis that has direct actions and a team of people exclusively dedicated to it.
Cooperation is based on an exchange of experiences, which is also important for Mar Merita: “you can fight inequality by promoting examples and good practices that arise in countries”, by learning from each other.
“Equality is a universal cause” and a realistic objective that, within the framework of the projects, needs public policies in order to make practical progress. Although in the end what is really important, according to the expert, is to believe in it.
Listen to the programme dedicated to International Women’s Day on our space on Spanish National Radio