Equal conditions: A race that must not stop

March 8, International Women’s Day, should be considered as an occasion in which all of us, both men and women, can make a call to reflect on where we are right now as a society. Such reflection will help us understand that the fight to end injustice and with equal opportunities for all, is something we have to work for each day.

Today we are living through a sanitary emergency, which has resulted in an economic crisis and has exposed the already existing social crisis. The labor disadvantage of women compared to men has been even more profound. According to data from a study realized by the IDB, there is a higher unemployment rate in urban areas for women (6.01%), compared to men (3.28%). In our country it is more and more common to find leadership positions in men, which leads to occupational gender segregation and the denominated “glass ceiling” as a common factor in our country.

According to the ECLAC ¨The COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on labor market trends¨ study published in July 2020, the division of domestic work by gender that occurred as a result of the pandemic often results in higher responsibilities for women, where domestic care, tele-education of children, care of the elderly and the work responsibilities increase the burden of duties and expose the need to balance the previously mentioned roles in a better way.

In the last years, the question of gender and access to equal treatment in labor matters has been growing, the silent revolution of women took place little by little, showing a reduction in the disparity in educational matters. Today we have an increase in the percentage of women who achieve a university degree, more and better opportunities for access to postgraduate education and consequently an increase in the number of women in management and leadership positions. Nonetheless, these numbers are not enough.

This is why, the advances in social issues must be complemented by regulations that support and determine a legal framework for the compliance and regulation of the same. For example in Bolivia, Supreme Decree No. 4401 was issued on November 26, 2020, which promotes equal conditions for access to employment, remuneration and equal treatment for men and women. This law must be applied in public and private organizations, in addition to the compromise acquired by the State in the promotion and incorporation of women in the workplace, in order to reduce gender discrimination related to working conditions.

After years of struggle, women are gaining positions in the labor market, providing knowledge and experience for the construction of equal opportunities in all areas.  The most important challenges for organizations is to create opportunities for interaction and professional development for their employees in order to build a society in which respect and value predominate, because success is built by everyone and a fair and free society is part of the way that we must take to achieve it.