On 25th January 2017 the Euro-Mediterranean Women Foundation presented at the headquarters of the European Institute of the Mediterranean (IEMed) its first publication entitled Women in the Mediterranean. It is a qualitative follow-up report about the Ministerial Euro-Mediterranean Conferences about women’s role in society, which took place in Istanbul, Marrakech and Paris, particularly the advances and the challenges in the field of gender equality, in 12 countries of the region since the ministerial conference of 2013. More than 50 people assisted to the event on behalf of 35 entities (associations, universities, Government institutions, professional organizations), which are working on gender issues.
The symposium included the participation of Maria Badia, Secretary of Foreign Affairs and the European Union in the Generalitat de Catalunya, ad of Teresa Maria Pitarch, President of the Institut Català de les Dones (Catalan Women’s Institute).
Senén Florensa, Executive President of IEMed, was in charge of inaugurating the event and underlined the key role of women in contemporary societies in order to promote the dialogue between the peoples of the Mediterranean.
Secondly, Maria-Àngels Roque, Director of Culture and Civil Society Department of IEMed, carried out a short presentation of the methodology and the contents of the report. The three main axes of the report –the economic discrimination of women, the importance of combating stereotypes and the violence against women- resulted in an open debate among the les participants. Other topics discussed were the illiteracy in rural zones in some southern Mediterranean countries, the entry in the labor market, the education and employment, the European austerity policies and their impact on women, the legislation and the legal accompaniment, the role of media and the promotion of gender research and studies.
Then, the different organizations represented gave more information about their projects and the fields of activity of their entities: the Association of Amazigh women; the Association of Federations of Women Entrepreneurs Associations in the Mediterranean - AFAEMME; tge Observatory Blanquerna of Communication, Religion and Culture; the Association of women journalists of the Mediterranean, Espiral – Entitat de Serveis; Women Jurists; the Red Cross; Drac Màgic; the Association of Educators in Human Rights – AHEAD; the Mediterranean Observatory of Communication – OMEC; La Independent; the Ibn Battuta foundation; the Observatory Llull; GAMAC Europa; the Progressist Union of Prosecutors or other entities like Obra Social La Caixa; between others.
The symposium was as well the opportunity to present the Euro-Mediterranean Women Foundation (http://euromedwomen.foundation) to the audience, and to invite the organizations to join the Euro-Mediterranean network, which has its headquarters in the IEMed.
This platform is part of the Axis 1 "Strengthening the capacities of equality actors" of the Priority Solidarity Fund "Women for the future in the Mediterranean" funded by the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs and led by the European Institute of the Mediterranean, in the framework of the project “Developing Women's Empowerment” labelled by the Union for the Mediterranean.