Dominican Republic will host a Discussion on Gender Equality Policies

The gender inequalities in the digital economy - which determine women's personal and professional development, as well as countries' progress within the new technological framework - will be examined at the twelfth session of the Regional Conference on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean, which will be held from 15 to 18 October 2013 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

The intergovernmental meeting, organized by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and the Government of the Dominican Republic, will be opened on Tuesday 15 October at the Hotel Hilton Santo Domingo, in the presence of authorities, international officials, experts and representatives from civil society and the region's business sector.

The opening session will involve Danilo Medina, President of the Dominican Republic, Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary of ECLAC, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), Carissa Etienne, Director of the Pan American Health Organization, Eleonora Menicucci, Brazil's Minister of the Secretariat of Policies for Women, and Alejandrina Germán, Minister for Women of the Dominican Republic.

The twelfth session of the Regional Conference on Women will focus on gender equality, women's empowerment, and information and communications technologies (ICTs). As a basis for debate,Alicia Bárcena will present the document Women in the digital economy: Breaking through the equality threshold, prepared by the Commission.

The agenda includes roundtables, panel discussions and side events (the latter organized by other United Nations agencies and civil-society organizations) that will discuss the links between productive development and equality, ICT access policies, the contribution of these technologies to the health of the female population, the situation of women in business and science, and the generation of specific indicators and statistics.

Conference participants will examine the reality of rural and indigenous women in the sphere of ICTs.

A roundtable discussion on Beijing+20: prospects and challenges will be held on 17 October. In the framework of the post-2015 development agenda, government representatives, experts and activists will analyse the situation of the region's women almost 20 years after the Fourth World Conference on Women (Beijing, China, 1995).

At the end of the Conference, countries are expected to sign the Santo Domingo Consensus, which will define the region's gender equality agenda for the next few years, as was the case for the declarations from previous Regional Conferences held in Brasilia (2010) and Quito (2007).