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International Women’s Day: Call for Action for women’s rights and equal participation in Euro-Mediterranean region (EMHRN)

8 mars 2010

On the 8th March 2010, the centenary of International Women’s Day, the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN) – representing 76 human rights organisations located across the region – regrets the limited progress being made to protect and promote women’s rights and gender equality in the region.

EMHRN stresses three key problems:

·       The widespread discrimination against women in the legislation of southern and eastern Mediterranean countries.

·       Underrepresentation of women in political life and in public decision-making bodies

·       Widespread gender-based violence in all its forms and manifestations in the entire Euro-Mediterranean region

In order to address these issues, EMHRN calls upon all the governments in the Euro-Mediterranean region to:  

·       Lift all reservations on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and ratify the CEDAW Optional Protocol;

·       Purge all national laws of all forms of discrimination against women;

·       Reform all relevant legislation and ensure representation of women in all fields and at all levels;

·       Urge states to take responsibility for protecting women from violence by upholding the principle of no impunity for violence against women;

·       Mainstream gender in all policies and programmes between Euro-Mediterranean partners;

·       Set up national plans to implement the Istanbul Framework of Action (IFA) with clear, explicit and specific goals, benchmarks and indicators of achievement;

In 2006 the European Union and its partner states around the Mediterranean met in Istanbul at the first Euro-Mediterranean Ministerial Conference on Strengthening the Role of Women in Society, and adopted the Istanbul Framework of Action (IFA). This framework was set up to promote actively gender equality and the participation of women in society.

Last 11-12 November 2009, the second Euro-Mediterranean Ministerial Conference on Strengthening the Role of Women in Society took place in Marrakesh. The Euro-Mediterranean partners reaffirmed their commitment to “promote de jure and de facto equality between women and men” recognizing that “equal participation of women and men in all spheres of life is a crucial element of democracy”.

At the start of 2010, EMHRN welcomed the proposal “to integrate gender equality as one of the priority project areas of the Union for the Mediterranean (UFM)” as well as the  ministers declared determination to combat all forms of violence against women by adopting and implementing legislative and policy measures.

In the aftermath of the Marrakesh Conference, EMHRN believes it is time to see the declared commitments turned into actions on the ground, assisting in overcoming the challenges to promote gender equality.

For further information please refer to the Gender EMHRN website

One Comment leave one →
  1. 9 mars 2010 15:47

    In Celebration of the 100th anniversary of the 1st call for international womens day in 1910, we are making an online reader’s edition of our new book, Wings & Dreams: 4 Elements of a New Feminism, accessible here.

    Please share this among your women’s communities.

    The Sophia Sirius Publishing Team

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