March 29, 2023

The Girne Municipality has been a member of the Middle East and West Asia (MEWA) Section of the United Cities and Local Governments Organisation (UCLG) since 2018. At the General Assembly meeting held in Konya in June 2021 Girne Municipality was elected as the Co-Chairman of UCLG and Chairman of the Gender Equality Committee.

The Committee held its first Goirne Municipality chairmanship council meeting at Girne Grand Pasha Hotel on Friday 5th August 2022. After the council meeting Secretary General of UCLG-MEWA Mehmet Duman presented information about the establishment aims and activities of the organisation.

He said reports suggested that giant steps needed to be taken on the issue of gender equality both globally and locally and that it would take hundreds of years to completely eliminate gender inequality. Local governments had important duties in that regard.

Girne Mayor Nidai Güngördü’s view was that gender equality was a very problematic issue, especially in the Middle East. He emphasised that their aim was to produce policies that would create changes for women and other individuals exposed to discrimination.

General Secretary of UCLG, Emilia Saiz joined the meeting by video conferencing and also emphasised the importance of the work to be done for the establishment of gender equality.

Next, the message from the UCLG Co-Chair and Konya Metropolitan Municipality Mayor, Uğur İbrahim Altay was read.

Sibel Tatar, the wife of President Ersin Tatar, believed that the gender equality gap which was the result of great differences between men and women participating in social and economic activities, was present in the TRNC also, as in many other countries.

Society expected women and men to live their lives and execute their responsibilities and roles according to traditional gender values. This division of labour could be summarised as women undertaking unpaid household chores, looking after the children and the elderly and the men providing the financial resources to support the household. She stressed that as a result, women were excluded from public life and confined to the home. In terms of gender equality, parallel participation would accelerate the development of local and national democracy.

After giving detailed information on participation levels of women in local governments in the TRNC she said gender equality initiatives were gaining momentum in the world. To end her speech she congratulated everyone who had contributed to the organisation of the conference.

In a round table panel meeting afterwards the final report of the UCLG-MEWA Gender Equality Committee was introduced. “Monitoring Equality in Municipalities” had been initiated in the previous working period of the Committee. The panel also had discussions on “Achieving Gender Equality in Local Leadership: Challenges and Opportunities” and  “Equality Action Guide for Local Governments”.

Source (Turkish): Girne Municipality

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