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Minister Tuula Haatainen at the Istanbul conference on women's role in society

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
15.11.2006 13.00
Press release -

The conference was a very important step towards the strengthening the role of women in the Euro-Mediterranean region, said the Finnish Minister for Social Affairs and Health also in charge for equality matters when closing the ministerial conference in Istanbul today. The conference was the first one ever in the context of Euro-med co-operation concentrating solely on gender and equality issues. The meeting was also the first one where the social platform participated.

The conclusions include a framework of action to promote equal rights for men and women to enjoy all economic, social, cultural, civil and political rights. We underline that equal participation of women and men in all spheres of life is a crucial element of democracy. – We must congratulate ourselves for achieving these common conclusions, that we can build the future work on said the minister.

The conclusions speak about the role of women in the media. Women’s role has to be transformed form a passive object to an active player in all the fields of the society. We also need more gender-sensitive analysis on how women are portrayed in the media and even on women’s role as journalists and their participation in the portrayal, and in public debate in general.

We must encourage civil society organizations, particularly women’s organizations to continue their work for the promotion of human rights and gender equality, Minister Haatainen emphasized. This is why it was and is important to invite civil society representatives to the preparations of this conference and its outcomes, the Minister said.

Euro-Mediterranean cooperation is high on Finland’s EU Presidency agenda. Finland wants to do it’s utmost to implement the five year work programme agreed in the Barcelona Summit last year, Minister Tuula Haatainen concluded at the press conference.

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