Speech by the Permanent Representative of the Republic to the UN Mr Korneliou at the 63rd session on the status of women
It is a great honour to address the 63rd Session of the Commission on the Status of Womenices and sustainable infrastructure.
My delegation subscribes to the statement delivered by the European Union. I would like to add the following remarks in my national capacity:
Cyprus has a strong and firm commitment to the advancement of equal access to opportunities between women and men. We are also committed to the advancement of women’s rights, and through access to public services and sustainable infrastructure for gender equality as well as the achievement of Millennium Goals.
Over the past years, Cyprus made considerable progress towards the advancement of women’s rights and social protection systems. New laws tackling gender inequalities have been enacted and National Action Plans and Strategies have been developed, addressing issues of gender equality, including key priorities that will assist in the social protection and the empowerment of women and girls, such as combating all forms of violence against women and gradual implementation of the “Istanbul Convention”; Promoting balanced participation between women and men in decision- making positions; Protecting and Empowering Vulnerable Groups of Women; promoting equality between men and women in employment; and Eliminating Gender Stereotypes and Social Prejudices.
It should be also noted the appointment of the Commissioner for Gender Equality with a remit to further promote gender equality issues and women’s rights in Cyprus.
The Equality Unit of the Ministry of Justice and Public Order, the Commissioner for Gender Equality and the National Mechanism for Women’s Rights continue to play a leading role in the overall promotion of gender equality. These include: law reform, awareness-raising activities, support of NGOs and the promotion of gender mainstreaming. The National Mechanism has also focused its work on the preparation of the first National Action Plan on the implementation of the UNSCR 1325 on “Women, Peace and Security” and the reform of the Family Law.
Furthermore, a ‘Home for Women’, a centre for the protection of women hosting professionals for medical, legal, and psychological support for female victims of violence has also been created.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, has also appointed a Gender Adviser aiming at adding the gender aspect in our foreign policy and promoting women’s rights on all levels.
Despite the significant progress achieved, we still have a long way to go to reach substantial equality between women and men. Negative gender stereotypes, prejudices and traditional perceptions regarding the role of women and men, continue to impede de facto the realization of gender equality. This is reflected, unfortunately in all spheres of life such as the under-representation of women in political and public life, the continuing problem of violence against women, the gender pay gap and the gender segregation in employment.
Cyprus is determined to intensify its efforts to eliminate all forms of discrimination against women and provide equal access to opportunities.
I am confident that the 63rd Session of the Commission on the Status of Women will serve as an opportunity to reaffirm our support to the full and effective implementation of our commitments towards a real gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. Thank you Madame Chair.
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