Bogotá Mayor Claudia López, and the Secretary for Women, Diana Rodríguez joined the Webinar ‘Could a city restructure itself around economies of care? The case of Bogota’s Care Blocks.’ This event was organised by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) alongside the Think Tank Experimentalist.
This event was organizied as a means to create a care system that widely benefits the wider communities. Joining the District Care System (SIDICU) was head of Strategic Innovation at UNDP, Giulio Quaggiotto; Head of the UNDP Innovation Fund; Soren Vester Haldrup, founder of the Experimentalista Think Tank; Gabriella Gómez Mont and manager of the Poverty and Inequity Reduction Area of UNDP in Colombia, Javier Pérez Burgos.
Mayor Lopez carefully outlined the scope of the project, “One of the fundamental social security services that often goes overlooked, is the unpaid care work for women. The SIDICU is a network of facilities that are set up all over the city. These are care centers strategically located within a 20 minute walking distance of most populated areas. these Care Blocks will provide relief, education and various social services under the supervision of skilled professionals.".
The mayor went on to say, "The fundamental virtue of the SIDICU is that it offers women a much-needed breather. Most households depend on the woman to assume the role of primary care-giver, and this – by definition – is a full-time job. So when do these women find the time to further their studies or their careers? This program is a cultural transformation that will work to give these women more control over their own outcomes. That being said, men need to assert themselves and help ease the burden that falls squarely on the shoulders of all women.”
Once the general context of the SIDICU had been explained, Giulio Quaggiotto, the head of Strategic Innovation at UNDP, noted that it is surprising to have been able to implement the SIDICU and providing services simultaneously, “They attend to different fronts, logistically, this must have been a challenge. So I ask you, what did it take to make this work?"
Secretary for Women, Diana Rodríguez pointed out that, "Our best bet was to start scratch, once things were underway we could not wait to see it through to perfection. We realised that the city already had infrastructure that could be useful for the SIDICU. That alone speaks to its feasibility on a national level and its replicability on an international stage."
During her speech, founder of the Experimentalista Think Tank; Gabriella Gómez Mont described the SIDICU as a project that innovates and helps everyone. “You have approached a difficult topic in a very interesting way. By utilizing the space you have to develop ways to reach out to the people that need the most attention. This benefits us collectively, so we must work collectively all across the District.”
By the end of the meeting, the manager of the UNDP's Poverty and Inequity Reduction Area in Colombia, Javier Pérez Burgos recognised the efforts being made in the capital of Colombia. "More cities want to know about the great work that Bogotá has done with its District Care System; that is why the UNDP will continue to support the Mayor's Office in its construction."