Strasbourg (F), 16 march 2009
Against the backdrop of International Women’s Day (March 8), the Assembly of European Regions (AER) and its President, Michèle Sabban, participated in several initiatives in Lyon, Orleans and Paris, thus reasserting AER’s commitment in tackling gender equality issues. Within AER, these issues are championed by the AER Observatory on Gender issues, created in 2005 and chaired by Michèle Sabban until 2008.
For the period 2009-2010, the AER Observatory on Gender Issues will focus mainly on violence against women. Major events will be organised, such as a seminar in Brussels on May 28 and a conference in Karlstad (Värmland, Sweden) on October 15-16, 2009. Other events on this issue are being prepared for the end of the year and the beginning of 2010. Several European regions, such as the Autonomous Community of Madrid, are taking the similar actions, launching advertising campaigns and other targeted activities.
Monica Carlsson, regional councillor in Norrbotten (Sweden), was elected President of the AER Observatory on Gender Issues in November 2008: “Equality between women and men still faces many obstacles at the end of this first decade of the 21st-century, and we must be committed to working relentlessly to make gender equality a reality in our regions, as well as within AER and the EU institutions. This fundamental value, often defended in political declarations and official speeches, must be put into practice. Regions, being close to citizens, have a fundamental role to play and AER must act as an example by including gender equality in its ruling bodies, projects and programs.”
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