Political shifts a chance for action on women’s rights
Political transitions provide opportunities to promote women’s human rights with equal female participation critical for any real democratic and lasting change, a European Parliament conference heard today.
Organised by the GUE/NGL group, the conference "Political Transitions and Women’s Rights" brought together parliamentarians, campaigners and experts from the global women’s movement to debate feminist perspectives in the context of crisis and transition, with a particular focus on the 'Arab spring' countries."We are calling for stronger participation by women in all political institutions and legislative processes" said GUE/NGL President Gabi Zimmer opening the hearing. "In order for our efforts to be successful, it is most important to continue the dialogue, to educate and to demonstrate solidarity. Solidarity is one of the strongest tools we have during times of crisis".
Mikael Gustafsson, Chair of parliament's women's rights and gender equality committee said that "as long as men make the laws, women's rights will remain a low priority. The high hopes of the Arab spring have not been fulfilled for women, but these women will not give up. Women's rights are human rights and it's time for Europe to take responsibility. We need to do our part and make women's rights the focal point in new constitutions including in all resolutions, policies and agreements."
"The discussion we had today reflected the complexity and differences between processes of political transition in the countries of North Africa and the Middle East. We concluded that the emancipation of women in these countries will be as great as peoples' real capacity and strength to determine their future in a sovereign way, without external interference" said Portuguese MEP Inês Zuber.
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