Our work protecting and promoting the human rights of women and girls means we get to work side by side with some incredible women in positions of power every day. At a time when many female-led governments are being praised for their assertive leadership in response to COVID-19, we’re asking why women leaders matter.
We spoke to Commissioner Margarette May Macaulay of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).
WHAT DOES EQUALITY MEAN TO YOU?
Equality means human rights effectivity. Beyond the international instruments, equality means that all people have the same status and effective access to civil and political rights, but also economic and social ones. This means that all individuals have access to the highest standards of state protection and that their voices are heard in decision-making processes. This is particularly important when it comes to gender equality, but it’s crucial to highlight that gender equality must be in line with social and ethnic-racial equity.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO HAVE DIVERSE WOMEN IN DECISION-MAKING PROCESSES?
Bringing women into the COVID-19 response will result in greater plurality in approaching problems and better-proposed solutions.
Women’s leadership in crisis response not only improves diversity at the institutional level but also improves the representation of interests and needs of groups in vulnerability.
It’s important to highlight though that bringing women into these key positions means bringing women in their plurality. Black women, indigenous women, women with disabilities, and other groups in vulnerability must play key roles in these and other policy-making bodies.
HOW IS COVID-19 AFFECTING THE PEOPLE YOU SERVE?
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown some of the toughest pre-existing problems in the Americas. the pandemic increased and deepened issues such as poverty, lack to access to healthcare, as well as violence. Women have been particularly affected as one can note looking into domestic violence rates in different countries of the region.