The experience of recent debt crises indicates that governments and financing agencies decided to honor their credit contracts and transfer the costs of the crisis to the population. Through so-called structural adjustment policies or “austerity policies”, they leave the ongoing social contract in a secondary place. The reduction of social investment as an “adjustment” or “austerity” policy also has strong adverse implications in terms of guaranteeing human rights in a region that, despite some progress, has not been able to universalize basic health and education services, nor the main social security instruments.
This document explores the effects that the consequences of indebtedness in Latin America had on women and gender inequalities, putting into perspective the risks that the region faces due to an increase in public debt, a problem that has worsened with the pandemic. Latin America must not repeat past mistakes. Debt repayment should not be done by limiting human rights or hindering actions to reduce inequalities.
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