On the International Women’s Day 100th anniversary, the world celebrates the advances of women all over the world. In Latin America and the Caribbean women’s contribution to the region is also being celebrated.
One of the more unique ways to celebrate is the ‘Join Women on the Bridge’ from Google, where you can join tens of thousands of people coming together on bridges all over the world. Everywhere from the Millennium Bridge in London to the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City.
This date is also an occasion to take stock of the institutional efforts to support the women of Latin America.
The Inter-American Development Bank has made important strides in the last year to redouble its support for gender equality in the region. The IDB recently approved its new Operational Policy on Gender Equality in Development, positioning itself to be a stronger partner for its member countries to promote gender equality and the empowerment of women in a comprehensive way.
A recent example of IDB investments to support women is a $35 million loan to expand access to basic health and nutrition services, refurnish and build new health posts, and train health care providers on maternal and child health problems commonly found in poor and rural areas in Guatemala. Also supporting mother-infant health is a $55,000 million loan to consolidate Bono 10,000, the Honduran conditional cash transfer program that addresses the intergenerational transmission of poverty.
Other examples include a project with Mibanco in Peru where the IDB is lending $10 million to expand access to financial services for women microentrepreneurs and a $300,000 grant to strengthen the leadership capacity of women political leaders through the Women’s Parliament in Paraguay–a program that trains new generations of women political leaders from all political parties.