Saying Goodbye to Colombia

Saying Goodbye to Colombia: Wrapping Up!

The following is an article written by our Canadian gender equity and policy specialists who completed their mandate in Colombia in collaboration with the Ministry of Mines. As part of this Technical Assistance Partnership (TAP) initiative, our Canadian experts in gender analysis, equity, diversity and inclusion accompanied the Ministry in the revision and implementation of guidelines on gender equality in the mining and energy sector.

Saying Goodbye to Colombia: Wrapping Up!

By Litzy Baeza and Alondra Majid 

From July 2022 to August 2023, we embarked on a transformative journey as consultants, dedicated to fostering the inclusion of women within Colombia’s dynamic mining and energy sector. Our efforts were a collaboration with TAP-EDM / PAT-MDE (Technical Assistance Partnership – Expert Deployment Mechanism) Project funded by Global Affairs Canada | Affaires Mondiales Canada and implemented by Alinea International with the Ministerio de Minas y Energía (Ministry of Mines and Energy) in Colombia.

Colombia’s Ascendancy in Gender Equality: A Glimpse into Progress

Colombia has made significant strides in gender equality over the past two decades.  Elevating its standing to 22nd out of 153 nations in the World Economic Forum’s 2020 Global Gender Gap Index, up from 40th out of 149 countries in 2018, showcases the nation’s unwavering commitment to gender equality.  A pivotal driver of this change is Colombian National Law 581 of 2000, widely known as the “Quota Law,” that requires public administration to include women in at least 30 percent of upper-level decision-making positions.[1]

The National Development Plan 2022-2026: Colombia’s world potential of life seeks to implement an intersectional and mainstreamed feminist policy. It aims to addresses the gender equality structural challenges, guarantee the promotion and protection of human rights, and engage women, among other vulnerable groups, in decision-making processes.

Embracing the momentum of gender equality, Colombia’s Ministry of Mines and Energy in Colombia was well-positioned to develop and implement its Guidelines for Gender Equality in the Mining and Energy Sector, launched in 2020.  These guidelines were the foundation for the Ministry and its affiliated entities to focus their efforts on implementing gender equality analysis into their work.

Our Impact: Empowering Change through Knowledge Transfer

Our project helped to increase the capacity of the ministry and its affiliated entities’ employees to incorporate a gender equality approach into its policies, processes, and systems.  When we visited Colombia in May, we delivered a ‘train-the-trainer’ workshop integrating a GBA+ lens among the 35 participants (88% female, 12% male). The resounding feedback echoed how this training informed the path toward seamlessly weaving gender equality into their work, and to transfer the knowledge to their colleagues.

Another integral part of our role in this project was to facilitate a focus group discussion with all seven affiliated government entities, including 34 employees participating in Bogotá.  These discussions helped to understand the current state of gender equality in the Ministry and ways to move forward in implementing a gender equality approach.  The focus groups and extensive research on best practices helped guide the gender mainstreaming strategy as the final deliverable for our project.

Fostering Empowerment and Inclusion

We are happy to have played a role in a momentous initiative focused on nurturing the advancement and inclusion of women in the mining and energy sector.  We are confident that with the capabilities and skills acquired by the participants in this project and with the tools the Ministry had already built, we have increased the capacity of employees’ knowledge on how to use and implement a gender equality analysis within the Ministry.

Hasta Pronto Colombia!

[1] Overview of Gender Equality in Colombia: