UN Women congratulates the workers of the Panama Canal

Date: 26 June 2016

Engineer Ilya Espino de Marotta (center, dressed in pink), is the executive vice president who heads the Panama Canal expansion. Courtesy / Panama Canal Authority.

On the occasion of the upcoming opening of the Panama Canal Expansion Project, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) congratulates female workers of this waterway, who in addition to having forged a career, undoubtedly, they will form part of an important milestone in both national and global levels.

The opening of the Panama Canal’s third set of locks, to be held on June 26, derives from the contributions of hundreds of women, who despite the inequality gaps, today stands out as North and inspiration for future generations.

With this, UN Women reaffirms its strong commitment to work for gender equality and the empowerment of women, as partners and beneficiaries of development, human rights, humanitarian action, peace and security.

At UN Women we are confident and secure that education is essential in order for women to achieve gender equality and become agents of change.

Engineer Ilya Espino de Marotta leads the work along with dozens of professional women in different scientific and engineering branches. Courtesy / Panama Canal Authority
For UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, science and gender equality go hand in hand towards sustainability. And although over the past 15 years the international community has made efforts to promote the participation of a greater number of girls and women in science, there are still barriers that prevent them from full participation in these disciplines. That is why we celebrate that a modern piece of engineering, such as the construction of a third set of locks at the Panama Canal, had the leadership and participation of professional women in different fields of science, management sectors and decision-making job, profiles which are still often masculinized in our societies.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which was endorsed by all Member States in 2015, provides an opportunity to promote a lasting change in favor of women and girl’s rights, gender equality and a positive transformation of both women and men lives, reaffirming the values of UN Women’s Planet 50-50 in 2030 commitment that looks forward to achieve a world in which all women and girls have the same opportunities and the same rights as men and boys.

While it is true that progress has been made in the field of women's rights throughout the decades, there are still many gaps to overcome. In that sense, giving voice to women at home and at public and private decision-making spaces, as well as other areas, such as national and local parliaments, media, civil society, business management, family and community, is a key act for achieving sustainable development.