Covid-19 impact gender equality at work remains (March 8, 2022)
Women have been disproportionately affected by the Covid-19-caused labor market crisis in Latin America and the Caribbean. The region faces an unprecedented setback in gender equality at work, according to a new report by the International Labour Organization. A high unemployment rate of 16.4 per cent, high informality, overload due to care tasks, are factors that contribute to increasing gender gaps in the labour market.
Of the 23.6 million jobs for women that were lost at the worst moment of the crisis in the second quarter of 2020, at the end of 2021 some 4.2 million were still to be recovered. In the case of men on the other hand, the 26 million jobs lost at that time had already been almost completely recovered.
As reproductive rights are increasingly challenged in the U.S., activists there have much to learn from their Latin American counterparts, writes Amy Littlefield in The Nation. Green wave activists have painstakingly combined grassroots mobilization with political work to advance their cause with lawmakers and in court.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine is playing out as a war of words and money in the Western Hemisphere, reports the Hill. But for many experts in the region, the real risk of the war in Ukraine is not measured in Russian involvement, but in lack of U.S. and European involvement in the Western Hemisphere. "I think it's less about the crisis, which I think of course exists ... and much more about the opportunity," said Pedro Abramovay, director of the Latin America Program at the Open Society Foundations.
But the Cold War mentality could also come at a cost for the region: "The war and the focus that the U.S. will put on cooperation [focused] on alignment or not, will put us further away from the possibility of sustaining democracy," said Abramovay. (The Hill)
Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro said he agreed on an agenda for the future talks with a U.S. delegation that he met on Saturday. It was the first high-level meeting between the two countries in years, reports Reuters. (See yesterday's post.)
The meeting was “respectful” and “very diplomatic,” Maduro said. Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, once recovered, is prepared to ramp up production “for the stability of the world,” he added. “The flags of Venezuela and the United States were there and they looked nice, the two flags, united as they should be,” Maduro said, a marked departure from previous rhetoric. (Washington Post)
The Amazon is losing its resilience, its ability to recover from disturbances like droughts and land-use changes, according to a new study that raises concerns the rainforest is nearing the tipping point when the biome becomes grasslands, reports the New York Times.
More than a month 10,000 barrels of crude oil spilled off of Peru's coastline, the country's worst ever environmental disaster, there are few signs of reckoning for Repsol, the Spanish energy company that manages the refinery where the accident occurred. "The catastrophe for one of the world’s richest marine ecosystems, and at least 2,000 coastal fishers who depend on it, has raised the question of how environmental crimes should be punished during a time of climate crisis and catastrophic wildlife loss," reports the Guardian.
Chile's Constitutional Convention has until April 28 to approve proposed norms for a new magna carta, after which a commission will harmonize the document ahead of the July 4 deadline to present a new constitution for public consultation in September. (El País, see last Friday's briefs)
Among the major changes that have already passed the convention's 2/3 approval requirement for inclusion is the definition of Chile as a plurinational state, and the creation of autonomous regions that include Indigenous territories as such. (El País, see last Friday's briefs)
According to a recent Criteria poll, the convention's work has a 31 percent approval rate (two points below the previous month's) and a 48 percent disapproval. Nonetheless, it's the country's most backed political institution. (El País)
Most of the 356 Haitians who travelled to the U.S. in a rustic wooden ship that grounded off the Florida Keys on Sunday will likely be returned to their home country. But migration advocates say Haiti's grave political turmoil and daily violence means the migrants should be considered refugees instead of being sent back to face danger and possible death. (Miami Herald)
The city of Guayaquil in Ecuador endured one of the world's most lethal outbreaks of Covid-19 in 2020 -- hospitals were on wartime footing and corpses piled up as funerary services were overwhelmed. Daniel Alarcón explores the scars that remain, in the New Yorker.
Mexico is not known for soccer riots, like the one this weekend in which 26 people were injured in Querétaro’s Corregidora Stadium. Lack of adequate security measures, along with long-term issues like machismo and economic inequality played a role. The question now is whether Mexican soccer can recover its image ahead of the 2026 World Cup, reports the Guardian. (See yesterday's briefs.)
An Argentine court sentenced a Roman Catholic bishop to four and a half years in prison for sexual abuse of two former seminarians. The ruling is a major blow to Pope Francis, who had initially defended the bishop, reports the Guardian.
Did I miss something, get something wrong, or do you have a different take? Let me know ...Latin America Daily Briefing