- Two years after its creation, Closing Gaps contributed to the development of policies for a National Care Strategy, as well as for access to social protection for agricultural day laborers and domestic workers.
- Closing Gaps, together with the state governments of Jalisco and Oaxaca, and the private sector, worked together to increase social protection for female agricultural day laborers within state borders.
Mexico City, May 18, 2022.- As part of the completion of the program Closing Gaps: Making Social Protection work for Women in Mexico, the outcomes obtained from its launch in February 2020 to May 2022 were presented.
This United Nations inter-agency program, financed by the United Nations Joint SDG Fund, was implemented by the International Labor Organization (ILO), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) in coordination with the Mexican Government and Mexican state organizations and institutions on the federal and state levels.
The project lasted two years and had an impact on the national and state levels in Mexico City, Chiapas, State of Mexico, Jalisco, and Oaxaca. The objective was to increase access to social protection for women, especially those in situations of exclusion such as agricultural day laborers and domestic workers, including support for a National Care Strategy.
This was done by accompanying and advising federal and local governments, as well as the Senate of the Republic, to develop or strengthen laws, policies, and strategies that increase women's access to social protection, as well as through training and the generation of knowledge and evidence for public officials, civil society organizations, the private sector, domestic workers, and agricultural day laborers in this area.
The Closing Gaps Program had the following outcomes:
- Inputs for the development of national legislative initiatives or reforms on the National Care System and mandatory social security regime for domestic workers through technical assistance, which included piloting a care system at the local level.
- Advice and technical assistance in the legislative process and in the development of the IMSS pilot program to which 43,158 domestic workers have been enrolled.
- More than 1,800 people have developed competencies in social protection and gender equality, including domestic workers, agricultural laborers, civil servants, and private sector.
- Established decision-making mechanisms and collaboration agreements between the state governments of Jalisco and Oaxaca, and the private sector to increase social protection for female agricultural day laborers.
These outcomes are product of the successful multi-stakeholder model that the program introduced. The alliances of UN agencies with the Federal Government, local governments, private sector, civil society organizations, academia, domestic workers, and agricultural day laborers have been key to increasing women's access to social protection in Mexico.
The presentation of outcomes was attended by Peter Grohmann, United Nations Resident Coordinator in Mexico; Gerson Eli Martínez Ramos, ILO Employment Policy Specialist for Central America, Haiti, Panama, Dominican Republic, Mexico, and Cuba; Belén Sanz Luque, UN Women Representative in Mexico; Lina Pohl Alfaro, FAO Representative in Mexico; and a message from Lisa Kurbiel, Head of the UN Joint SDG Fund.
In this regard, Peter Grohmann, United Nations Resident Coordinator in Mexico, emphasized: "We have laid the groundwork! Closing Gaps: Making Social Protection work for Women in Mexico has set out a roadmap, which we will continue to promote, mobilizing actions and resources for this purpose."
During her message, Lisa Kurbiel, Head of the UN Joint SDG Fund, highlighted that "the Joint Programme is generating a comprehensive response focused on meeting the needs of women in vulnerable situations; increasing protection services for them and their dependents; and promoting decent work in the context of the COVID19 pandemic. This Program is, therefore, a global example of how to address in a comprehensive and coordinated manner SDG 1 on poverty reduction; SDG 5, focused on gender equality; and SDG 8, on decent work."
"We at the ILO have had the privilege of accompanying the efforts of domestic workers to make their rights recognized in Convention 189 effective. It is my sincere hope that this work —which includes the reform of the Social Security Law— will contribute to more dignified and just working conditions for this sector, said Gerson Eli Martínez Ramos, ILO Employment Policy Specialist for Central America, Haiti, Panama, Dominican Republic, Mexico, and Cuba.
"We have worked to support Mexico in laying the foundations for a National Care System that contributes to the well-being of people, to the direct and indirect creation of quality jobs that facilitate the participation of women in the workforce, which means a return of income for the State via taxes, contributions, and a higher income for individuals and families," said Belén Sanz, UN Women Representative in Mexico.
Lina Pohl, FAO Representative in Mexico, mentioned, "We have promoted public policies from the local governments of Jalisco and Oaxaca that focus on the specific needs of female agricultural day laborers and rural women. They contribute with their work to half of the world's food production, thereby ensuring food and nutritional security. Hence the relevance of recognizing the phenomenon of rural internal migration, promoting access to decent rural employment, and promoting public and private sector programs and strategies that effectively extend social protection to them".
In addition, various federal and local government institutions, diplomatic corps, and civil society organizations attended the event: Undersecretariat for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Executive Secretariat of the 2030 Agenda Office of the Ministry of Economy; Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare; Mexican Institute of Social Security; Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare of the State of Jalisco; Ministry of Labor and Employment Promotion of Mexico City; National Institute for Women; Commission for Gender Equality; Ministry of Finance and Public Credit; Township of Iztapalapa; Secretariat for Substantive Equality between Women and Men of Jalisco; Secretariat of Welfare of Oaxaca; National Agricultural Council; National Network of Day Laborers and Agricultural Day Laborers / CECIG; Embassies of Ireland, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, Germany, Spain, and the Delegation of the European Union to Mexico; Mexico City Institute for Job Training; El Colegio de México and the Red de Cuidados en Mexico; Instituto de Liderazgo Simone de Beauvoir; Hogar Justo Hogar A.C.; National Union of Domestic Workers; Support and Training Center for Domestic Workers (CACEH).
ILO, UN Women and FAO, as next steps, will continue to strengthen alliances and actions to follow up on the results of the Program and close other gaps in the access to social protection for women in Mexico.