In the Commission’s Communication to the Council and the Parliament of 12 April 2005 the idea of holding a Ministerial Conference on “Strengthening the Role of Women in Society” at Euro-Mediterranean Level was launched. Coinciding with the momentum reached in the region concerning the ongoing reform processes as well as the international political context, an opportunity was provided to establish an appropriate framework to help advance the implementation of the provisions stated in the 1995 Barcelona Declaration regarding gender issues.
Guidelines for the improvement of women’s status and situation in the Euro-Mediterranean area were developed by the inclusion of specific actions in the Five-year work planfile adopted at the Barcelona Summit of Heads of State and Government, in November 2005. This attested to the commitment of partner countries to Increase the participation of women in decision-making in political, social, cultural and economic positions...Euro-Mediterranean Partners will take measures to achieve gender equality, preventing all forms of discrimination and ensuring the protection of the rights of women.”
The Ministerial Conference on “Strengthening the Role of Women in Society”, due to take place in Istanbul on 13/14 November, 2006, aims at issuing concrete and practical proposals for actions on the matter of gender issues. The conference discussions will be structured around three main subject areas identified during the Barcelona +10 Conference on Women file They are the following:
1) Women’s rights as a guarantee of human rights and deepening democracy;
2) Women’s access to education and employment;
3) The role of culture and the media as key-instruments for changing perceptions of gender.
The Ministerial Conference was prepared during a Conference in Rabat (Morocco), 14 - 16 June, 2006, which included government, civil society, academic and media responsible for gender issues from the Euromed region. This preparatory debate was prepared by research and analysis undertaken by three leading Euro-Mediterranean institutes. Research papers from leave site EuroMeSCo, leave site Femise, and the leave site Anna Lindh Foundation for the Dialogue between Cultures helped the discussions in Rabat. The research papers of these three institutes are available on line:
The Euro-Mediterranean Partnership - Euromed and Women - documents