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How do we empower women on both sides of the Mediterranean? The challenge will be addressed on Wednesday by the “Spring forward for women” conference, bringing together MEPs and parliamentarians from eight Arab countries to discuss common challenges and opportunities for women’s participation in politics. It is organised by the EP’s women’s rights committee together with the European Commission and UN Women, the UN organisation for gender equality. Follow it live on our website.
Much still need to be done to empower women politically and economically in both regions, considering there is only an average of 24.9% of women in European parliaments and 15.9% in Arab states parliaments. On Wednesday current and former female parliamentarians from Egypt, Morocco, Yemen, Palestine, Algeria, Jordan, Tunisia and Bahrain will share their experiences in the EP.
The conference will be inaugurated by EP President Martin Schulz; UN Women’s executive director Ms Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka and the Commission’s director for neighbourhood Dr Michael Köhler. During the conference the 30th anniversary of the EP’s women’s rights committee will also be marked.
The conference is a part of the Spring Forward for Women programme, an EU–UN Women joint regional programme for the South Mediterranean Region. Launched in October 2012, it supports initiative to get women more involved economically and politically.