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Strategic Dialogue on the gains and challenges on the subject of gender equality and equity in Cape Verde

United Nations, Praia, May 6, 2014– Cape Verde, similarly to other countries, pledged in 2000 to reach, by 2015, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), among which is MDG 3 concerning gender equality and women empowerment.

In this context, and while preparations are underway for the II Fórum de TransformaçãoCabo Verde 2030 (II Forum for Change – Cape Verde 2030), which will take place between the 14th and 16th May, in Praia, the Prime-Minister’s Office, in partnership with the Instituto para a Igualdade e Equidade de Género (ICIEG) (Institute for Gender Equality and Equity), the United Nations in Cape Verde and the civil society, have organized a National Forum to debate the current situation of gender equality in the country, to identify the main challenges and allocate subsides that allow for the design of short, medium and long-term intervention measures in this matter of social, economic and political development.

At the meeting, presided by the Prime-Minister, José Maria Neves, the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Cape Verde, Ulrika Richardson, in the opening statement, emphasized the importance of this dialogue regarding gender equality, at the time when the strategy of the country for 2030 is being defined. “At this moment, when at the global level important international development commitments are being reassessed and reaffirmed (such as the Millennium Development Goals – 2015, International Conference on Population and Development – 2014 and the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action) and a new sustainable development structure is being defined beyond 2015, we are presented with a historical opportunity to eradicate persistent inequalities which hinder cohesion and social justice”, stated the Resident Coordinator. 

The Prime-Minister, José Maria Neves, drew attention to the progress that has been made with regards to gender equality and equity in Cape Verde, throughout the last few years, with the many achievements and gains it entailed while, at the same time, highlighting the increasing central role women have been playing as civil society agents in Cape Verde. Despite this, the Prime-Minister acknowledged the many persisting challenges in this area, illustrated, for instance, by the low participation rate of women at the local and parliamentary levels, and the high level of gender-based violence.

The meeting, which took place at the National Library, included three panels focusing on the following themes: i) The international commitments undertaken in the area of gender equality promotion and the empowerment of women, and their implementation status; ii) Political and strategic options available to the country in terms of promoting gender equality and iii) Experiences, challenges and priorities from the point of view of civil society.

It is also noteworthy that the reflexion undertaken throughout this dialogue initiative will become the basis for the publication of a document with the main proposals and conclusions, will be presented and debated at the II Fórum Nacional de Transformação – Cabo Verde 2030 (II Forum for Change – Cape Verde 2030).

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