Technical Committee on gender equality relaunches activities focusing on climate change

Co-chairs of the bicommunal Technical Committee on gender equality, Xenia Loizidou and Mine Yucel, announced on Monday that the Committee will relaunch its activities, focusing on the issue of climate change.

Loizidou and Yucel were speaking during an event organized at the Home for Cooperation, in Nicosia buffer zone, by the PRIO Cyprus Centre and the Embassy of Ireland in Nicosia, to launch the report The Role of Civil Society and Gender in Reconciliation: Lessons from the Good Friday Agreement. UNSG’s Special Representative in Cyprus Elizabeth Spehar attended and addressed the event.

The Technical Committee co-chairs said that the reason they chose the issue of climate change is that women and the environment are the ones most affected by war and violence, noting at the same time that gender equality and climate change are two issues on which the UN are currently focusing. Climate change is therefore a problem of our times that concerns issues that can unite us, they noted. In this framework, the Committee will pursue cooperation with the bicommunal Technical Committees on the Environment and Education, it will hold contacts with Spehar.

We decided to break the stereotypes and deal with a contemporary issue through which it is easier for women to get high-level positions, in the framework of their activities in the field of climate change and natural disasters which concern all of us, both communities on the island, with a view to promote also women’s more active role in the peace process in Cyprus, Loizidou told the Cyprus News Agency (CNA).

Loizidou and Yucel also noted during the presentation that the aim is to organize a major event on climate change in Cyprus and to promote meetings with organizations and actors dealing with relevant issues as desertification, water resources management, sea level rise, extreme weather conditions and green entrepreneurship.

In this framework groups comprising men and women from both communities will be formed and delegations of such bicommunal groups as young farmers, environmental engineers etc will hold meetings abroad, with a view to create an international network that will support the determination for peace, security and sustainability in Cyprus, it was underlined.

The report on The Role of Civil Society and Gender in Reconciliation: Lessons from the Good Friday Agreement was prepared after the visit and meetings which Monica McWilliams and Avila Kilmurray, two women activists, involved in the Northern Ireland peace process, had in Cyprus in the Autumn of 2018.

The report said, inter alia, that there is need for both bicommunal and intra-community action in relation to women’s and gender issues, and that any action that incorporates and promotes a gender perspective will have a positive impact on peace. Moreover it noted that the inclusion of a gender perspective in these processes, by both men and women political actors, is as important as the presence of women in peace processes.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory.

Source: Cyprus News Agency