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Gender equality matters intrinsically as a basic human right, and is instrumental for human development. It enables equal access to goods, services, and resources for both men and women, and their equal enjoyment of the opportunities and rewards of economic development. Gender equality is “smart economics,” and can contribute to key development goals, including the reduction of extreme poverty and inequality.
Within the Latin America and Caribbean region, significant advances have been made in access to health, education and economic opportunities, but persistent challenges remain in the realm of individual agency and voice within society. Gender norms engrained in social, political, economic and cultural life perpetuate inequalities on the household, community, national and regional levels. Of particular concern are the manifestations of women’s lack of agency in the region, which include: persistent rates of adolescent pregnancy, sexual and gender-based violence, and continued exclusion from decision-making spaces.
Through the Initiatives to Promote Gender Equality regional contest, the World Bank seeks to discover, document and share innovative, effective and sustainable initiatives that address one of the following thematic areas:
- Teenage Pregnancy
- Gender-Based Violence
- Women's Participation in Decision-Making
Furthermore, the World Bank hopes to foster cooperation, sharing of information, and learning among individuals, groups and organizations working to improve gender equality in the region.