Croatia, 6 December 2012. UfM Deputy Secretary General Attard-Pirotta participated in the meeting of the Women’s Rights Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean, held on 6 December 2012 in the Croatian Parliament in Zagreb. DSG Attard-Pirotta joined the participants from national parliaments of a number of UfM member states and the European Parliament to discuss the role of women in new governances in the region, linking the Social and Civil Affairs Division’s activities and projects relating to the region’s overall women empowerment goals. She presented the Division’s three labeled projects – AFAEMME’s Young Women as Job Creators, AMIDEAST’s Skills for Success, and FFM’s Developing Women Empowerment, and called the participants to assist the Division in project promotion and delivery by promoting the Secretariat in their respective countries.
Strengthening women’s presence in policy making instances, elimination of gender-based discrimination, ensuring continued education for girls and young women and enhancing cooperation between governments and civil society were stressed as key measures in moving faster towards genuine gender equality in the region. Additionally, providing women with adequate tools for employment and job creation was highlighted as crucial in the process of women’s economic and personal independence.
The recommendations ensuing from this Committee’s meeting will be adopted by the Plenary Session of the UfM Parliamentary Assembly in spring 2013 and delivered to all UfM member states for consideration.
On the margins of the meeting, DSG Attard-Pirotta held bilateral talks with public and civil society representatives from Croatia, the host country, in an effort to promote project-based cooperation with the Secretariat of the Union for the Mediterranean. The Director-General for Bilateral Affairs at the MFA, Mr. Koharović, informed of Croatia’s active involvement in the process of democracy and institution building in the MENA region and expressed Croatia’s continued support to the UfM’s goals and projects. The meeting with the Croatian Government’s Office for Cooperation with NGOs and the National Foundation for Civil Society Development discussed project ideas as possible future UfM labeled projects.