The Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Claudia Ruiz-Massieu and the Governor of Yucatan, Rolando Zapata-Bello, inaugurated the event, which main objective is to boost the empowerment of women.

•    Researchers and Specialists of this subject are meeting in Merida, Yucatan on 25th and 26th January.

MERIDA, Yucatan, 27th January 2016.- "Women are the vanguard of social change, so there will be no sustainable development and justice, unless substantive gender equality is not achieved", said Claudia Ruiz-Massieu, Secretary of Foreign Affairs, accompanied by the Governor of Yucatan, Rolando Zapata-Bello, at the opening of the First International Conference "Women in the Knowledge Economy and Innovation".

She highlighted that in some countries, the most wasted resource is the creative and transformative potential that women have, so it will not be possible to achieve sustainable development if these capabilities are not fully released in women and girls.

Secretary Ruiz-Massieu said that the battle for equality has ethical, pragmatic and common sense components, so it is convenient to achieve gender equity conditions.

She also spoke of the important role played by IT to enhance the opportunities for women and have a more active role in the life and growth of their communities.

She also said that this international summit will allow us to analyse what is the way in order to strengthen the empowerment of women and achieve full gender equality between men and women.

The Governor of Yucatan, Rolando Zapata-Bello, welcomed the audience to this international event, recalling that 100 years ago, on the same stage of the Teatro Peon Contreras in the city of Merida, the First Feminist Congress was held in Mexico.

Accompanied by the President of the System for Integral Family Development (DIF) Yucatan, Sarita Blancarte de Zapata, the Governor stated that knowledge and innovation only reach full value when entrepreneurship, scientific talent and cultural creativity of the women participate with real power.
"Their role should be absolute and equal, because there is no economic wealth, nor social progress or added value worthy of this, if it is not built on the basis of equality. Acting the other way, limits the vision to find new ways, new methods, new paths to address and solve problems and establish new paradigms," the Governor mentioned whilst addressing a welcome message at the event.

At the opening ceremony, Ana Güezmes, UN Women representative in Mexico, said that the conference pays tribute to women who 100 years ago made the First Feminist Congress. She noted that women of Mexican State of Yucatan took a historic step to promote equality, and over the years had experienced one of the most profound revolutions that have been seen, when women can occupy nowadays important spaces in areas such as politics and economy.

"We are convinced that if we all work together for the plurality, we will be able to meet the goal of a 50/50 planet, in which women could live in equality of opportunities," she said.

In her speech, Lorena Cruz-Sanchez, President of INMUJERES, said that we need proposals for the different levels of government, civil society, private and academic sectors in order to develop comprehensive public policies that promote access of women to those areas crucial to competitiveness and the knowledge economy, to raise women’s human capital in Innovative public policies which redistribute workloads.

The event featured the participation of international activists for women rights, as well as representatives of civil society organisations, academia, international organisations, opinion leaders and members of the Federal Cabinet of the government of Mexico.

During the event it was projected a video with the interview that the Ambassador of Mexico in the United Kingdom, Diego Gomez-Pickering, performed to Mr. Ziauddin Yousafzai as father of  Malala, Nobel Peace Prize in 2014. Through him Malala conveyed a message about the importance of the development of women to enhance the competitiveness of countries like Mexico.

In addition, through his father, Malala also thanked the Award for Equality and Non-Discrimination 2013, in the International Category, conferred by the National Council to Prevent Discrimination in Mexico (CONAPRED).

Message from the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Claudia Ruiz Massieu at the oficial opening.