Thursday, March 09, 2006

International Women’s Day Comments

"United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary General Sukehiro Hasegawa has recommended that Timorese women nominate themselves for President of the Republic, as many women possess the necessary intellectual capacity. Speaking on International Women’s Day yesterday in a ceremony held for the occasion at the Memorial Hall in Farol, Hasegawa relayed the UN Secretary General’s message that the theme for this year’s Women’s Day is “Increasing Women’s Decision-Making Capacity”. He said that this is essential for the advancement of all women, as well as humanity’s progress in general. “Full participation of women, including participation in decision making and access to power are fundamental to the development of equality and peace”, stated Hasegawa.

Also speaking on the occasion of Women’s Day 2006, Head of the Women’s Network Maria Olandina Cairo said that many women are victims of prostitution through no fault of their own, as they are being sold for the benefit of others. She said that it is therefore necessary for the state to create mechanisms to deal with such people, and that it is also the responsibility of the state to create the conditions whereby all citizens, including women, can participate in all sectors.

Meanwhile, PSD MP Fernando Gusmao confirmed his party’s support for the establishment of quotas to increase women’s still minimum participation in politics. He said that current female MP’s in Timor-Leste have demonstrated their political capacity with many of them becoming Heads of Factions, and Presidents and Secretaries of the Commissions. However, according to Gusmao, it is still necessary to bring many other women into the system.

Two women MP’s have also conveyed their opinion on International Women’s Day. Josefa Soares Pereira and Quiteria da Costa have asked Timorese women’s organizations to focus their efforts on women at the grassroots level of society. Pereira told journalists that she feels a little sad that only women in Dili are involved in the commemorations, while women at the district and village level are completely unaware of the significance of the day. UDT MP da Costa expressed her opinion that it would be useful to hold a workshop or seminar at that level and not just in Dili, to enable village women to also be involved."

Source: Diario Nacional, Suara Timor Lorosae & Timor Post (from UNOTIL Public Information Office, Daily Media Review)

Category: Timor-Leste (East Timor)

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