Argentine President Alberto Fernández Wednesday promised to continue working to guarantee more equality and more rights to women, lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people.
He made those remarks during his virtual appearance at the Generation Equality Forum held in Paris, which he was to attend but could not after being forced to stay in Buenos Aires.
Travel restrictions have limited the arrival into the country of airborne passengers to just 600 each day allegedly in order to prevent the entry of the Delta coronavirus variant.
Fernández is already under heavy citicism for such an extreme measure and his trip overseas would have drawn further controversy from Argentine nationals and residents stranded abroad and their relatives and friends in the homeland.
We joined this Forum and we have assumed the leadership of the Coalition on Body Autonomy, Health and Sexual and Reproductive Rights, said Fernández from behind a desk at the Olivos presidential residence. This forum is an ambitious starting point, and I hope it will be the platform to continue working together to guarantee more equality and more rights.
Fernández had been invited to participate in the event by his French colleague Emmanuel Macron, who reportedly congratulated the Argentine leader for his government's policies on gender matters during a European tour earlier this year.
Those of us who have the responsibility to govern must take charge of the demands. The pain of people who are deprived of rights and who suffer discrimination must challenge us, Fernández went on.
He also highlighted the need to adopt strong public policies aimed at eradicating patterns of structural inequality and reorganizing the social life of our peoples, aiming at fairer and more egalitarian human relations, without oppression or discrimination based on class, nationality, ethnicity or gender.
Fernández also acknowledged the existence of “exclusion and inequality,” which affects women and minorities who are “in a situation of greater vulnerability.”
The President was referring to those who are in a situation of poverty, migrants, indigenous women, and people discriminated against because of their sexual orientation or gender expression, something which “has worsened in the context of the current health crisis caused by the covid-19 pandemic.” The Argentine leader also stressed “that inequalities exceed geographic borders and therefore require collective responses.”
Argentina participated in one of the groups in which the forum was divided, which addressed sexual and reproductive rights together with other States and CSOs, always under the umbrella of UN Women, co-chaired by Mexico and France. We join this Forum and have assumed the leadership of the Coalition on Body Autonomy, Health and Sexual and Reproductive Rights, said the Argentine president regarding his role.
He added that the strategy for this leadership was participation in the construction of new consensuses and the will to collectively share the Argentine experience linked to the fight for legal, safe and free abortion and for the inclusion and equal rights of women. lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people.
Fernández also pledged to guarantee “effective universal, legal and free access to abortion and post-abortion care” and “promoting, supporting and participating in the promotion of bodily autonomy and the sexual and reproductive health and rights of girls, adolescents, women, transgender and non-binary people in the framework of the different international and regional forums of which we are a part.”
In this context, the Argentine State has decided to join and co-chair the Global Care Alliance together with the Government of Mexico, for the promotion of comprehensive care systems and thus build true societies of care that are more inclusive and less unequal, according to the Argentine President. “From Argentina we are clear that this is the way forward, he added.
Upon taking office in December 2019, Fernández created the Ministry of Women, Gender and Diversity and appointed Elizabeth Gómez Alcorta to head it. She was also present at the virtual meeting, something of which Fernández was very proud, as he was of his policies to legislate and protect” the “health and lives of women and individuals. with other gender identities” with the capacity to bear children.
The President was particularly focused on the six-month-old Voluntary Interruption of Pregnancy (IVE) law, which “will assure us that never again in our country shall a woman or person with the capacity to carry a child put their life or health at risk in a clandestine abortion, and it will also mean a huge cultural transformation, in terms of autonomy.
The closing of this Forum will mark the 26th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women and the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform. “The agenda of that historic Conference is still in force, said Fernández.