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Women Rights

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On the 8th March 2010, the centenary of International Women's Day, the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN) - representing 76 human rights organisations located across the region - regrets the limited progress being made to protect and promote women's rights and gender equality in the region.

EMHRN stresses three key problems:

* The widespread discrimination against women in the legislation of southern and eastern Mediterranean countries.

* Underrepresentation of women in political life and in public decision-making bodies

* Widespread gender-based violence in all its forms and manifestations in the entire Euro-Mediterranean region

In order to address these issues, EMHRN calls upon all the governments in the Euro-Mediterranean region to:

* Lift all reservations on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and ratify the CEDAW Optional Protocol;

* Purge all national laws of all forms of discrimination against women;

* Reform all relevant legislation and ensure representation of women in all fields and at all levels;

* Urge states to take responsibility for protecting women from violence by upholding the principle of no impunity for violence against women;

* Mainstream gender in all policies and programmes between Euro-Mediterranean partners;

* Set up national plans to implement the Istanbul Framework of Action (IFA) with clear, explicit and specific goals, benchmarks and indicators of achievement;

In 2006 the European Union and its partner states around the Mediterranean met in Istanbul at the first Euro-Mediterranean Ministerial Conference on Strengthening the Role of Women in Society, and adopted the Istanbul Framework of Action (IFA). This framework was set up to promote actively gender equality and the participation of women in society.

Last 11-12 November 2009, the second Euro-Mediterranean Ministerial Conference on Strengthening the Role of Women in Society



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