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Young future leaders met in Guatemala to reiterate their commitment to gender equality as a development tool.

Young future leaders met in Guatemala to reiterate their commitment to gender equality as a development tool.

Community leaders and representatives of political parties in Guatemala joined other young people from El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama and the Dominican Republic to exchange ideas on increasing the participation of women in all levels of society.

The activity was within the framework of the VIII Regional Forum organized by the Esquipulas Foundation and sponsored by the Embassy of the United Kingdom. During the welcome, the British Ambassador to Guatemala, Carolyn Davidson, encouraged young people to recognise and value the role of women in increasing the competitiveness of economies, forming governments that are more transparent and reducing poverty.

Experts such as Dr. Lily Caravantes, defender of women’s rights, and former head of the Secretariat of Food and Nutrition Security of Guatemala were on hand to share their knowledge. Other participants included Quetzalí Cerezo, Executive Director of the Association Movement for Equity in Guatemala; and Marielos Chang, ex-Chevening (the prestigious global scholarship programme offered by the Government of the United Kingdom).

The forum focused on issues such as the participation of women in the economy and the labour market, areas where women frequently encounter obstacles in accessing credit and balancing family life. The importance of keeping girls in school to reduce child pregnancy, tackling malnutrition and, in general, boosting social development were issues that were also discussed.

The event ended with an open discussion with contributions from delegates. The outcome of these discussions will feed in conclusions to the VIII Regional Forum, and discussed later in November during the international phase of the Forum.

The VIII Regional Forum Esquipulas III “contribution from experience and youth” aims to empower young people in the region in a process of generational political change. It seeks to find solutions to the problems of Latin America within the framework of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

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