Alumni News

Claudia López MPA ’03: “Enhancing economic autonomy is the most important thing for women around the world”

Posted Nov 10 2022
Claudia Lopez by Sirim Samman

On September 29, 2021, Claudia López MPA ’03, Mayor of Bogota, visited SIPA to lead a panel on “Political and Economic Participation of Women in Latin America.”

“I think life is harder for women everywhere in the world. And now in the pandemic is even harder. The first thing we need to do is to be aware of that. That that gap has broadened and has deepened. But, also, I think opportunities has broadened too. Enhancing economic autonomy is the most important thing for women around the world and particularly in Latin America.

And to be able to have more economic autonomy, we need to free women from unpaid care work. If there is one top priority is that one—freeing women from unpaid care work so that we can provide women with time for breeding opportunities for themselves, education, and income generation opportunities. The only way to change that agenda and the priorities and the policies is to be in the place in which those policies and budget decisions are taken.

Do you provide political participation in order to have more economic autonomy, or do you provide more economic autonomy and opportunities so that you can have more political representation? And I think it works mainly in this direction. And no doubt, the better and well represented women will be in democratic institutions, the better the society as a whole will be. So that's our job, that's my job, and I'm so glad to do it. And I think that's the big challenge for Latin America at this moment.”