fredag 9 september 2011

Statement on Request for partner for democracy status with the Parliamentary Assembly submitted by the Palestinian National Council

Idag beslutade Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men att stödja processen för status av partnerskap för mellan Palestina och Europarådet. Jag gjorde ett inlägg, se nedan. Dagens beslut i Paris var en framgång, men än återstår flera steg. Dagens ställningstagande var ett framsteg och kunde dessutom tas enigt. Vilket ger en god grund för det fortsatta arbetet.

Dear colleagues,

In October, the Assembly will discuss whether to grant the status of Partner for Democracy to the Palestinian National Council. As you see in the draft report of the Political Affairs Committee, the rapporteur, Tiny Cox, proposes that the status be granted. I fully agree with his proposal and I will support it.

Dealing with the Middle East, we can’t avoid to mention the conflict. I would like to underline that women have a special role in peace building in the region. Women are affected by crises and conflicts disproportionately. They bear the whole responsibility of taking care of their families when their partners are away – sometimes not to return – and they can become target and victims of attacks themselves.

For these reasons, and perhaps same more, women are particularly involved in peace building. This is the case also in the Middle East. To give you just an example, I will mention two women, Naomi Chazan and Sumaya Farhat-Naser, who took the initiative to create a partnership between Palestinian and Israeli women’s organisations during the first Intifada. This special partnership is called Jerusalem Link. The two partner organisations carry out separately initiatives to address the needs of women on either side, but also various joint peace-building projects.
This will be only one of the matters that I will deal with. I will try to take stock of the situation of gender equality in the territories under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian National Authority.
We will take into account the laws, from the fundamental texts such as the Declaration of Independence and the Basic Law, to family law, the legislation regulating citizenship, and labour law. As Ms Rahiba Hamdan, Minister for Women’s Affairs of the Palestinian National Authority, suggested at the hearing we held last April, I will look carefully not only at the law itself, but also into the implementation.

Besides law and its implementation, I will focus on the actual situation in society and in everyday life. We will try to understand what position Palestinian women occupy in their society today: what is their weight in business and the economy, how much they participate in civil society, culture and education.

Other elements to be examined are the representation of women in politics and the issue of gender-based violence. Not only how gender based violence affects Palestinian women, but also what the authorities do to tackle it.

Our job is to highlight the achievements, and the remaining challenges. Of course the status of Partner for Democracy is just the beginning of the work for both sides. In any case our approach to this matter should be a positive one – If the Palestinian authorities show the intention to tackle the most serious issues that affect women, we should be ready to support them.

/det talade ordet gäller