Sunday’s Euro Elections result was a setback for democracy and the struggle for gender parity as Cyprus failed to elect a woman as Member of the European Parliament, said the Commissioner for Gender Equality.
This has undoubtedly delivered a blow to the Democracy of Equality. Stereotypes and gender segregation have unfortunately created a negative image for Cyprus in Europe, said Commissioner Iosifina Antoniou.
She was commenting on the election result after no women was voted in as MEP for the first time since 2009.
Cyprus in 2019 seems to be dominated by highly patriarchal elements, largely deprived of democratic perceptions and characterised by anachronistic social stereotypes about the role of the sexes in society, said Antoniou in a statement on Monday.
She argued that political party structures, the tough and often unfair competition, the unequal division of responsibilities between men and women in the sphere of the family, are just some of the reasons keeping women out of decision-making positions in political and public life.
Women are not substantially represented in decision-making centres, not only due to institutional factors but because of reasons related to the quality of democracy, political and social culture, said the commissioner.
The blow to democracy and equality can only be prevented by changing attitudes that nurture and reproduce patriarchal perceptions and unfortunately keep half of the population out of political and public offices.
The Commissioner who called on the state and society to work collectively to cultivate a culture of equality for a healthier and hopeful future.
Source: The Financial Mirror