Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Workshop on Women’s Political Participation

"To discuss women’s participation in the 2007 General Elections, a joint one-day workshop on the subject coordinated by the office of the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister’s office for Promotion of Equality, UNIFEM and the local NGO Fokupers was held yesterday at the Hotel Timor.

The workshop entitled “Ensuring Women’s Participation and Representation in the Political Life of the Nation Via the 2007 Legislative and Presidential Elections” was opened by Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri, with statements by President Xanana Gusmão, Vice-President of the National Parliament Jacob Fernandes, and United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG) Hasegawa. Workshop participants included representatives of political parties, the diplomatic corps, members of parliament, and civil society.

Organizing Committee member Manuela Leong told journalists that this is the second such workshop of this nature, the objective being to ensure that decision makers take into account women’s participation in the electoral process and in the 2007 elections, as well as being useful to gather ideas for the promotion of women’s participation.

Spokesperson for the Social Democratic Party in the National Parliament Joao Gonçalves stated that PSD has always paid great attention to women’s political participation, noting the current distribution of parliamentary seats for PSD MP’s consists of three men and three women.

In his speech at the workshop, SRSG Hasegawa declared that he hopes that women’s political participation will increase in the upcoming elections, and that the role of the Cabinet for the Promotion of Equality together with UNIFEM will be instrumental in assisting with this through their civic education programs.

The SRSG stated that it is important not just to increase the number of women in politics, but more importantly, to increase the number of both men and women who understand the importance of women’s participation in the decision-making process of politics."

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

Category: Timor-Leste (East Timor)

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