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“Resilient Women”: Climate Action and Gender Equality in Public Policy in Despeñaderos, Argentina

The city of Despeñaderos in the province of Córdoba, Argentina, has demonstrated that it is possible to integrate gender equality and climate change action. Through the innovative “Resilient Women” program, the municipality is significantly impacting the lives of women who have experienced gender-based violence.

Mayor Carolina Basualdo admires the work of the women.

In March 2022, while Despeñaderos was joining the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy (GCoM), they  launched the project to connect women and climate change. The city aimed to achieve climate change mitigation goals while exemplifying that circular economy, entrepreneurship, and  women resilience can be combined. “There are always opportunities for women to dream,” said Mayor Carolina Basualdo.

The program has established circular economy and green businesses that promote sustainability and environmental protection and allow women to rebuild their lives and become agents of change in their communities. With support from the National University of Córdoba’ industrial design department, women in the community have learned to create products made from materials thought as of single-use,  such as waste, which are then marketed as goods such as wallets and purses.

“This is a public policy project with a lot of heart” explained Mayor Basualdo,  member of the Latin American GCoM Mayors Forum, “because it enables women who have experienced gender-based violence to achieve economic and financial independence, and promotes social inclusion.”

“It is particularly inspiring to see how rural women who had not had the opportunity to study have found motivation and learned technical skills at the university. With the technical assistance of the industrial design department, these women have enhanced production and created green jobs” Basualdo concluded.

The program’s success has been recognized by the Ibero-American Union of Municipalities and the government of Córdoba, demonstrating that Despeñaderos is leading the way in the fight against gender-based violence and promoting gender equality in the region.

The “Resilient Women” program is just one of the many initiatives that the municipality of Despeñaderos is implementing to improve the lives of its citizens. From advancing gender equality to protecting the environment, the city is committed to creating a more sustainable and equitable future.

This project is a remarkable example of the municipality’s efforts to address gender-based violence and promote sustainability. “We hope that more programs like this will be implemented worldwide, particularly in cities of the Global Covenant of Mayors, to eradicate gender-based violence and create a more sustainable and equitable future for all. Together, we can achieve a more just and sustainable world for present and future generations,” declared the Governance Expert of the America’s Covenant, Elise Àbbes.

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