Cyprus Mail

Participation of women in public life remains at ‘disturbingly low level’  

House Speaker Yiannakis Omirou

An important tool in the effort to strengthen women’s equality is the national action plan for equality for women and men under the island’s action plan , which is being implemented from 2014 until 2017, House speaker Yiannakis Omirou said on Friday.

He was speaking at a workshop organised by the House of Representatives and the European Parliament Office in Cyprus on “Women’s rights and gender equality: experiences and lessons from the Northern European model”.

“One of the main objectives of the new action plan is the promotion of equal participation and representation of men and women in political, social and economic fields,” said Omirou.

Decisive would be the creation of necessary care facilities and care of children and the elderly, which will free-up women “from the burden of their multiple roles,” he added.

Omirou emphasised the need to engage all “state, political parties, social partners, women’s organisations, men and women, to improve the position of Cypriot women in our society.”

He also said that women had suffer a lot due to the impact of the economic crisis that hit Cyprus in 2013.

“Women are still over-represented in lower paid sectors, although superior in education. The crisis strongly affected women. It multiplied the integration barriers in the labour market, increased unemployment at alarming levels and  created job insecurity but mainly it increased the risk of poverty and social exclusion,” he added.

Omirou said there was only one woman in the entire Cabinet, compared to ten men, and only 12.5 per cent ​​of all members of the House of Representatives were women. It was also noteworthy that female representation at the municipal and community councils was only at 18 per cent, while there was no woman mayor.  “The appointment of women to independent positions remains at a disturbingly low level.

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