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Level within governmental hierarchy of national Machineries for the Advancement of Women

The level within governmental hierarchy of national Machineries for the Advancement of Women constitutes a qualitative indicator that describes the status countries formally give to its machineries through laws, decrees and other official measures. The levels of classification for Latin America are: high level for the machineries with institutional status of Ministry or entity whose head has ministerial rank. The intermediate level is made up of entities attached to the Office of the President or mechanism whose head is directly responsible to the President (offices attached to the presidency, secretariats, national institutes and other entities). At the low level are those entities attached to a ministry (viceministries, under-secretariats, institutes, councils and other entities). At the Caribbean the classification is similar and expressed as: high level if the head of the machinery is a Minister; intermediate level if the entity is attached to or directly responsible to the Prime Minister; and low level if the machinery come under ministries or lower-ranking authorities such as vice-ministries.


The Mechanisms for the Advancement of Women (MAM) are the institutional mechanisms for directing and coordinating gender equality policies in the Latin American and Caribbean States.

In Latin America, the Mechanisms for the Advancement of Women (MAM) were created between the 1980s and early nineties as entities with varying degrees of institutionality, even today the level of institutionalization and the hierarchy of these organisms within the state bureaucracy itself is very diverse.   By  february  2024, in Latin America, 70% of countries have high-level MAM – which means that the mechanisms have received ministerial rank or that the institutional holder has the rank of Minister, with full participation in the Cabinet.

In the Caribbean, 83.3% of MAMs remain at a low level of institutionalization – which means that they are dependent on a Ministry or an authority of lower rank (vice-ministries, undersecretaries, institutes, councils and other legal figures).