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Regional conference "Advancing gender equality in the Western Balkans and Turkey" opened in Budva

Regional conference "Advancing gender equality in the Western Balkans and Turkey" opened in Budva
Published date: 12.12.2016 15:41 | Author: PR service

Ispis Print

Two day regional conference "Advancing gender equality in the Western Balkans and Turkey" was opened earlier today in Budva by President if the Parliament of Montenegro Ivan Brajovic. He emphasized the importance of promoting policy of equal opportunities for women and men and said that the state of Montenegro  is highly committed to this question that is treated as one of the its priorities.

Brajovic explained that gender equality entails equality of men and women in all spheres of life, including equality in economic and political participation, equal representation in all branches of power, especially in decision-making positions.

He noted that it is encouraging to see that 24% members of the current Parliament after the October parliamentary elections are women, which is the best result in the history of Montenegro's parliamentarianism. Although this does not reflect the desired standard, it is still an important step forward for political participation of women in Montenegro.

Cihan Sultanoğlu, UNDP Assistant Administrator and Director in the Regional Bureau for Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States, stated that it was an honour for UNDP to organise this regional conference which reaffirms the already established wide partnership with many key partners in the area of gender equality. She highlighted that the conference is taking place one year after the world leaders adopted the Global Sustainable Development Agenda 2030, which represents an important vision and roadmap for the transformational development.

In her view, gender equality is a matter of respect for human rights, a question of sustainable development, but also a matter of common sense. If all members of the society are equally empowered to participate and contribute to development, all these joint efforts will have a strong impact on our progress and well-being, said Sultanoğlu.

Ambassador Aivo Orav, Head of EU Delegation to Montenegro, recalled that gender equality was one of the founding values of the European Union. Although much has been achieved in the past years, the question of gender equality requires continuous education and awareness-raising efforts. But first and foremost, it requires strong action from all members of society, said Ambassador Orav.

Orav stated that the EU will continue supporting Montenegro's efforts to implement the Istanbul Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and to promote real gender equality and women’s participation in all spheres of political, economic and social life, which is to the benefit of the society as a whole.

Mehmed Zenka, Minister of Human and Minority Rights, noted that the conference was an opportunity to expand the existing knowledge, to hear about good experiences and to exchange examples of good practices.

He highlighted that sustainable success in every area depends on good cooperation and in that context he commended the quality of successful cooperation of the Government of Montenegro with all UN agencies, primarily UNDP and UN Women, OSCE Mission to Montenegro, Council of Europe and European Commission.

Minister Zenka noted that Montenegro, in order to improve the living standard of its citizens, is introducing all international models and standards that bring it closer to the EU. According to him, the role of women in Montenegro has changed significantly through joint actions of all structures in the Montenegrin society. Minister is confident that the conclusions of this conference will serve as a platform for further developing the gender equality policy in the region.

Participants of the conference were also addressed by Ingibjorg Gislattodir, UN Women Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia, Virginia Langbakk, Director of the European Institute for Gender Equality, Sonja Lokar, executive director of the Central and Eastern Europe Network for Gender Issues, and Sahiba Gafarova, rapporteur general on violence against women in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

The conference was organised in partnership between UNDP, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, UN Women, the EU Delegation in Montenegro, the European Institute for Gender Equality and the Ministry for Human and Minority Rights of Montenegro, in cooperation with civil society networks “I Sign”, the Central and Eastern European Network for Gender Issues and Women’s Safe House in Montenegro.