Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot representatives of women`s organisations said on Saturday that their bicommunal rally, scheduled for Wednesday, March 8, highlights their determination for a Cyprus settlement and reunification.
The march under the slogan “Let`s go for peace” will be held on International Women`s Day, in Nicosia, and is an initiative of various organisations representing women, trade unions and others. From the Turkish Cypriot side, the “Platform for Gender Equality” (TCEP) will also take part, representing some 25 organisations.
AKEL MP Skevi Koukouma, speaking during a press conference at Fulbright Institute in the Nicosia buffer zone, said that the initiative “underlines our commitment to reunite the island and to work together to overcome existing hurdles with regards to gender equality”.
She added that the rally was a reminder to the negotiators that they were expected to reach a solution as soon as possible.
Organisers extended an open invitation to other organisations, political parties and activists to join forces for attaining the “joint objectives of gender equality, peace and reunification”.
PEO representative Marina Koukou said they had also invited President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci to take part and are waiting for their reply.
Asked to take stock on the current phase of settlement talks, Koukouma expressed hope that they had just paused, not ended, and said the march aimed to sends a message to both leaders, to overcome the standoff.
Turkish Cypriot activist Dogus Derya said nationalism was on the rise, especially in northern Cyprus, following the House of Representatives’ vote in favour of the Republic’s schools commemorating the 1950 referendum in favour of Enosis, or union with Greece. Leaders need to work to change this and reinforce trust between the two communities, Derya added.
Representatives of women`s organisations also condemned recent statements made by Polish MEP Janusz Korwin-Mikke on the “inferiority of women”, noting that such views are against EU and European parliament principles and should not go unpunished.
The march will start at 17.30 Cyprus time on March 8 at the end of Ledra street in Nicosia and will end at the Ledra Palace, where it will be joined by Turkish Cypriots coming over from northern Nicosia.