Gender equality in Cyprus has not yet been realised. Though systematic changes have begun to emerge, the island still has a long way to go until it reaches the levels of gender equality seen in other European countries. Still, there is a lot of activity happening nationwide to engage both the public and official bodies and this May a festival focusing on gender equality is taking place.
“Gender equality continues to be an issue despite all the positive achievements that have been made in the last years,” say organisers. Cyprus has reached just 57 per cent in the gender equality index, taking the 21st place from 27 EU Member States. It is often mentioned that given the current progress, gender equality will be achieved after 2080. By realizing the need to promote the discussion of gender issues in the society, we organise Femme Fest Cyprus.”
Femme Fest, on May 29 in Nicosia invites all, not just women. Happening at the gardens of Eleftheria Square, the festival has a series of panel discussions, family entertainment, and live performances planned in the hope of engaging everyone in a wider talk on gender issues.
“The festival aims to become a point of reflection and development of ideas regarding gender equality,” add organisers. “Femme Fest will host and promote the work of women in various fields as well as organisations that deal with gender equality. Also, there will be informative boards regarding many issues from a gender perspective, as well as discussions and workshops, theatre, dance, and musical performances. At the same time, at the Square, there will be a place of creative activities for children. In this way, parents will be able to attend the activities of the festival without any distraction.”
Nine panel discussions with industry experts and professionals will take place in the afternoon starting from 3pm. These will touch on topics such as gender stereotypes in education, discrimination against female immigrants and LGBT women, the role of women in conflict resolution and gender challenges in times of crisis.
Live performances are also part of the festival including one from the dance group of the Federation of Filipino Organisations Cyprus, a vocal show at 7.30pm with Vasiliki Anastasiou and the Amalgamation Choir featuring Ermis Michail on guitar and another at 8.30pm with Evridiki, Nicolas Filitis and Prospectus band. Stand-up comedienne Katerina Vrana will also talk about stereotypes and women at 8pm while throughout the day’s events a Human Library will also run from 3pm to 7pm.
“The 1st Femme Fest Cyprus aims to be established as an action by women that address and, at the same time, includes the whole society. The most challenging thing for this festival is to provoke the discussion and ensure the reflection, to be a place of acceptance of diversity and respect human rights,” conclude the organisers. “The most important aim here is that all together, women and men, to move along to a more inclusive and cohesive society.”
Femme Fest Cyprus
1st edition of festival on the promotion of gender equality. May 29. Eleftheria Square Gardens, Nicosia. 3pm onwards. www.femmefestcy.com