Cyprus has come a long way in the promotion of gender equality, but a lot remains to be done President Nicos Anastasiades said on Sunday
Addressing the Global Leaders meeting on Achieving Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment, at UN Headquarters, in New York, the president also announced that Cyprus was ready to ratify the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women, and Domestic Violence.
He also highlighted the role of women in promoting reconciliation, in the framework of the current UN-led settlement talks in Cyprus.
The event was addressed by over 70 world leaders, who made concrete commitments and firm pledges to overcome gender equality gaps. It was co-hosted by UN Women and the People’s Republic of China, as part of the 20th Anniversary commemoration of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, a comprehensive roadmap for gender equality and the empowerment of women.
Xi Jinping, the President of the People’s Republic of China, and Ban Ki-moon, the UN Secretary-General, delivered the opening remarks.
According to an official announceemnt, Anastasiades noted in his intervention, that there were still disturbing reports of horrific violations of the very basic rights of girls and women, worldwide, despite progress.
“We must realise that human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights” said the President.
Speaking on Cyprus, he said the country has done a lot in the empowerment and the realisation of human rights for women and girls, by promoting a number of concrete measures and policies, as well as investing in the empowerment of women.
He went on to say that the Cypriot government has adopted a new National Action Plan on Equality for 2014-2017, which prioritises, among others, balancing the participation of women and men in public and political life, combating all forms of violence against women, promoting the economic empowerment of women and eliminating deeply rooted stereotypes on gender roles .
The government was also combatting trafficking in human beings, he said, while focusing on the protection of the victims.
“I have the honour to announce that we are ready to ratify the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence,” he said.
He also spoke of the “invaluable role” of women in the promotion of reconciliation and peace, and noted the establishment of a Technical Committee on Gender Equality, in the margins of bicommunal talks for a settlement of the Cyprus problem.
The president concluded by expressing the strong willingness of Cyprus to contribute to the full implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action in the framework of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which reaffirms the essential role of gender equality and of the empowerment of women and girls. (CNA)