Leading women activists from Syria, Libya, Jordan, Morocco, Palestine, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen and Egypt among those attending UN Women sponsored two-day event calling for tolerance and solidarity
February 10, 2013
Amman, JORDAN – The Karama organization announced today it has chosen Amman, Jordan to hold its first regional dialogue of 2013 titled, “The Arab Regional Consultation on Gender Equality: Freedom, Tolerance and Solidarity: A Call from the women in the Arab Region.” In making the announcement Karama founder Hibaaq Osman said, “Events in this region continue to dictate the need for women’s voices to be included equally in the transitional process. Women make up 50 percent of society, but women are still not where they need to be in terms of key decision-making and equal representation. In convening this meeting we are ensuring societies are more reflective of the mutual goals, respect and trust we all adhere to.” The three-day consultation begins today, February 10th, 2013 and is being held in conjunction with UN Women.
During the consultation, participants will ascertain the precise indicators for more gender inclusive Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in the Arab region, and in doing so formulate a body of shared goals and indicators that they will lobby for with their governments. The report will ensure national criteria’s and indicators for civil society organizations to monitor the proper implantation by government to follow up on the new MDGs that are based on human rights and gender equality.
The UN Millennium Development Goals were first addressed in 2000, when member States resolved as part of the Millennium Declaration “To promote gender equality and the empowerment of women…and to combat all forms of violence against women and elimination of all forms of discrimination against women” and established eight key goals, which range from halving extreme poverty to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary education, all by the target date of 2015.
Dr Sameera Al Tuwaijiri, Regional Director of UN Women, said the conference is important given that “The Arab region with its transitional status will need, more than ever, a sustainable path towards development that ensure equal rights and opportunities for its citizens. A path to sustainable development starts by a healthy, educated, economically empowered and politically represented woman who can and will contribute to the welfare of the current and future generations.”
Women from nine different countries will gather in working sessions for brainstorming sessions with participants which include experts from civil society, academics, politics, business and other NGOs with expertise in the gender quality and human rights fields. The outcome will be a report on how women in the Arab region see a gender perspective best apply to the upcoming 2015 MDGs. Issues being addressed include: complete gender mainstreaming in all public bodies; equal pay for women; application of international standards as stated in the UN and regional conventions; and the inclusion of women in sustainable development management committees.
Among those attending the conference are leading Syrian activists, who recently launched the “Syrian Women’s Forum for Peace.” Jordan is currently home to hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees.
For those wishing to attend or request media interviews please email NH@nicollahewitt.com and visit http://www.el-karama.org