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Island’s religious leaders meeting to condemn violence against women

Cyprus' religious leaders (CM archives)

To mark International Women’s Day on Wednesday, the Office of the Religious Track of the Cyprus Peace Process under the Auspices of the Embassy of Sweden to release the joint statement from the religious leaders in Cyprus condemning all forms of violence against women and girls.

The event will take place at The Ledra Palace Hotel in the UN-controlled buffer zone. “This is the first time in the history of Cyprus when the religious leaders have jointly addressed issues of violence against women,” an announcement said.

The event will be held under the auspices of Archbishop Chrysostomos, Turkish Cypriot Mufti Dr Talip Atalay, Maronite Archbishop Youssef and Armenian Archbishop Khoren.

Margot Wallström, the Swedish foreign minister and Elizabeth Spehar, UN Special Representative will address the event which will bring together the religious leaders with civil society, women’s organisations and political parties and members of the diplomatic corps.

Susana Pavlou, director of the Mediterranean Institute of Gender Studies (MIGS) and Mine Atli, project coordinator at Association of Women to Support Living (KAYAD) will hold a presentation on the current situation of violence against women in Cyprus. The statement will be presented in three languages.

Meanwhile, Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot representatives of women`s organisations will hold a bicommunal rally for peace on Wednesday.

The march under the slogan “Let`s go for peace” will be held 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.

The women will be urging the two leaders to go back to the negotiating table.

The march will start at 5.30pm Cyprus time 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.

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