"Inspirational and Admirable": U.S. Ambassador for Women's Issues on Care Blocks

Visit from Geeta Rao Gupta, Ambassador at Large for Global Women'sSecretariat for Women's Affairs
Laura Tami Leal, Secretariat for Women's Affairs of Bogotá (left) and Geeta Rao Gupta, U.S. Ambassador for Women's Issues (right).
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Translated by Andrés Martínez

At the end of January, Bogotá's Care System received a visit from Geeta Rao Gupta, Ambassador at Large for Global Women's Issues at the United States Department of State. During her visit, Rao Gupta learned about the operation of the Care Blocks in Bogotá and praised the Colombian capital for consolidating a system that offers services and opportunities specifically designed for the city's female caregivers.

Rao Gupta, who served as President of the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) for over a decade, celebrated Bogotá's initiative to create a comprehensive system for the benefit of caregivers and the people they serve.

"It is truly inspiring and admirable to see what the city of Bogotá has done for women and their unpaid workload. Unpaid caregiving has often been overlooked and not recognized as a contribution to society. In that sense, the fact that this has been done is truly impressive," Ambassador Rao Gupta highlighted.

Check out this post from the Secretariat for Women's Affairs about Ambassador Rao Gupta's visit to the Care Block of the Center:

Representatives from the United States Embassy in Colombia also attended this visit, in the context of the formalization of the creation of the Women, Peace, and Security Center of Excellence in Colombia, led by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. For this reason, the ambassador was accompanied by Bogotá's Counselor for International Relations, Sandra Borda Guzmán, and representatives from the Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Bogotá, a Benchmark for Care in the Region

Secretariat for Women's Affairs When asked if Bogotá's Care System could become a benchmark for the region, Ambassador Gupta's response was unequivocal: "Yes. In fact, discussions about this Care System and Care Blocks are already happening and are on the agenda of other mayors from cities around the world. All mayors in the United States should be aware of this system, and I want to congratulate the city of Bogotá for this effort."

The visit was led by the Secretary for Women's Affairs, Laura Tami Leal, and representatives from the Secretariat of Social Integration. With the aim of analyzing how the services offered by the Care Blocks contribute to reducing the risk of gender-based violence, the delegation visited Center Crecer, the community laundry, the Arte de Cuidarte program, the various physical activities held at the pool of the Care Block, and the psychosocial-legal assistance provided by the Secretariat for Women's Affairs of Bogotá.

"The Ambassador at Large for Global Women's Issues in the United States came to visit our Care Blocks in Bogotá. We walked around, saw these services, and witnessed this commitment to equality that we have from the Secretariat for Women's Affairs, changing the lives of thousands of women caregivers and also caring for those who require assistance," Secretary Laura Tami Leal stated at the end of the visit.

Center of Excellence for Women, Peace, and Security in Colombia

On February 1st, Colombia and the United States signed a Memorandum of Understanding to create the Center of Excellence for Women, Peace, and Security in Latin America and the Caribbean, the first of its kind in the region.

This center will be composed of women's and feminist organizations, representatives from civil society, academia, and governments of Latin American and Caribbean countries. Its objectives will be to promote research, innovation, and analysis of the challenges of the Women, Peace, and Security Agenda.

"One of the fundamental principles of the Women, Peace, and Security Agenda is to lead with genuine inclusion. Colombia is a nation that exemplifies this through its leadership in gender parity in peace processes, its work towards implementing National Action Plans based on Resolution 1325, its Feminist Foreign Policy, and much more. These are some of the reasons why I look forward to working hand in hand with our Colombian partners on how they have already progressed in this agenda and how they will continue to do so with the creation of this Center of Excellence," emphasized Ambassador Rao Gupta one day before her visit to the Bogotá's Care System.