Latin America: Social And Gender Impacts Of The Economic Crisis
During the last quarter of 2008, an economic crisis - originating in the United States - spread and affected financial institutions and economies throughout the developing and developed world.
This crisis, of which its ultimate magnitude and duration cont0inues to remain unknown, has joined with other global crises such as the food, climate and energy crises. Without a doubt, all lead to serious consequences for quality of life. It is foreseeable that the effects of this crisis will spread at both the macro and microeconomic levels, with certain social groups - namely the most vulnerable – being most affected. One must therefore ask what immediate, medium, and long-term impacts of the crisis will be felt by: i) the countries in the region ii) different social classes and iii) between men and women? Which vulnerabilities exacerbate the negative impacts of the crisis?
Deregulation and the fundamentalist economic and social ideology which has dominated at a global level in the last decades, brought with it certain responsibilities to ensure that principles of sustainable development - such as guaranteeing human well-being, system stability and people’s destiny – were fulfilled. The current crisis demonstrates that sustainable development – development that reduces poverty and promotes social inclusion and equity - has in fact not been achieved. This is particularly serious in Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) where a slowdown in economic growth has coupled with high initial levels of poverty and inequality (UNDP, 2009).