International Women's Day
The Organization of Cape Verdean Women (OMCV) in partnership with the Cape Verdean Institute for Gender Equality and Equity (ICIEG) and other partners announced on Sunday, March 7th in the City of Assomada, the main commemorative event of International Women's Day under the motto Djuntu na Paz, nu kombati violênsia na Cabo Verde (Together in Peace, in the fight against violence in Cape Verde).
The opening ceremony was co-chaired by His Excellency the Prime Minister, Jose Maria Neves and the UN System Resident Coordinator, Mrs. Petra Lantz and was also attended by the US Ambassador, Government representatives, and representatives of local municipalities, among others.
Celebrating International Women's Day we know that we join thousands of people around the world, to celebrate a date that marked the world 100 years ago. It is celebrated worldwide this year under the motto Equal Rights, Equal Opportunities: Progress for All.
At the same time, the 15th anniversary of the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action is celebrated. In 1995 during the IV World Conference on Women, world leaders committed themselves to promote equality, development and peace to women around the world.
The Beijing Declaration remains as current as it was 15 years ago: as long as women are not liberated from poverty and injustice all the objectives for which we work – peace, security and sustainable development - will be threatened. There are several examples of progress, although gender stereotyping and discrimination based on gender persist in all cultures and communities.
The International Women's Day is an opportunity to make a critical review of the successes achieved over the past 15 years, which are not few, and to take stock on how to achieve what is missing.
In Cape Verde a lot has been done since the independence in favor of women, allowing to create a favorable environment for increased participation of women, and to contribute to the development of the country. Great results have been achieved with emphasis on education, health, and political participation of women over the last years. Highlighting at the government level, among the ministers, eight are women.
However, it cannot be said that women have achieved the same equality as men, to emphasize the important achievements in favor of women in Cape Verde and thereby stimulate and continue this struggle. Because social ills still persist, such as unemployment, extreme poverty which affects mostly female heads of households, and the violence against women, that are in flagrant contradiction with the promise contained in the Charter of the United Nations "to promote the social progress and better standards of life in a broader concept of freedom".
The consequences of the violence for women and girls as well as to their families, communities and societies are incalculable. Too often the crimes are unpunished and the criminals go free. In this context the States have the responsibility to protect women and punish their aggressors, ensuring a continuing improvement of judicial processes.
With increasing frequency, men manifest themselves against this blot in our society. It is not easy to change mentalities and habits that endure for generations. It is a task for all – individuals, organizations and governments. We should work together to declare, loud and clear at the highest level, that violence against women will not be tolerated, whatever form it takes, the context in which it occurs and the circumstances that surround it.
Recognizing this fact, the African Union at the Conference of 15-year review of the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action that was celebrated in March 2010 in New York, launched the African Women's Decade 2010-2020, reaffirming the commitment assumed since the Dakar and Beijing conferences and the resolutions on gender equality and women empowerment taken by the Assembly of the African Union, to accelerate the achievement of results set out in the Millennium Development Goals.
*Ministry of Youth and President of the Council of Ministers, Ministry of Work, Family and Social Unity, Ministry of Education and Sports, Ministry of Environment, Rural Development and Marine Resources, Secretary of State Adjunct of Prime Minister.