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Emanuel Lamoure in "OLJ": Gender equality is inevitable – Ann-Marie El-HAGE



From 3 to 6 June, the Canadian town of Vancouver will host the Women's Diversity 2019 Conference on Gender Equality, Reproductive Health, the Rights and Welfare of Women and Girls Worldwide. long-term reduction of women's mortality in the world. Several Lebanese representatives, journalists, activists, scientists, influential politicians, including a group of young women leaders, are invited to this event, the most important international conference of the 21st century. With no less than 6,000 participants from around the world and 100,000 online virtual attendees, she will see Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudo, his wife Sophie Gregor Trudo, influencing the issue of women's rights, Danish Princess Maria and CEO Women Deliver, Katya Iverson. The meeting is particularly important for Lebanon given the progress that is being made in terms of gender equality. The occasion of Canadian Ambassador Emanuel Lamoure to attract bets to such an event exclusively for L 'Orient-Le Jour. This at a meeting at the Canadian Embassy, ​​attended by Miriam Spheir, Director of the Arabian Institute for Women (AIW) at the Leuven American University (LAU).

No country in the world has achieved full equality between men and women

"There is no country in the world who claims to have achieved full equality between men and women," says Mrs. Lamoure. And according to the World Economic Forum statistics, if we continue the current trend, gender equality will be achieved in the world for a period of 61 years for the most advanced countries in the field, up to 171 years for less than that level " given that some regions are expected to develop faster than others or to make progress in some areas more than others. But while "some countries like Rwanda have achieved equality in terms of political participation," we are seeing "more global gaps in economic areas," and "the participation of women in board boards is vastly the vast majority of the countries," notes the ambassador, but also "in the field of country security, peace talks, mediation traditionally considered men". "Studies show, however, that women's inclusion in these sectors leads to more peaceful societies, more durable peace agreements," she said. This means "the work that remains to be done" in this respect. "But we have no luxury waiting for 171 years or even 61 years. "

Hence, the interest of a conference organized by the international women's support movement, which gathers every three years to "advance the cause of gender equality", where policy-makers exchange ideas and best practices on these issues; partnerships, organization of conferences and workshops. And if Canada has decided to hold this conference at home in Vancouver, it is because the organizers' goals are "consistent with its internal priorities." Priorities for "highlighting gender equality" addressing women's rights and other men-specific challenges such as mental health. The Maple Party "boasts this," says Emanuel Lamoure. "Prime Minister Justin Trudo announced in June 2017 that Canada will host this conference," she said. He also announced that a $ 20 million three-year contribution will achieve the gender agenda. "

Increase women's economic participation by 5%

Now that he has sent invitations to the Lebanese political class, the Canadian government awaits confirmations. The fact that the date of the event coincided with the end of the month of Ramadan does not exclude official Lebanese participation, the diplomat notes. "I'll be glad," she says. But beyond this presence, which will surely be "highly valued," "the most important thing is the action that policies lead here in the country." Because gender equality requires "the political will that makes the difference". In this regard, Emmanuelle Lamoureux is pleased with the "commitment of the Lebanese authorities led by Prime Minister Saad Hariri to increase women's participation in the labor market by 5%". This was last February in partnership between the Lebanese authorities, the World Bank and the Canadian Embassy. "When we see such a desire, we can only support it," she said, adding that "ultimately the results are important."

Cedar's country is certainly far behind. Myriam Sfeir states that "the challenges of gender equality in Lebanon, in particular the rights of women, the violence they suffer, early marriages, their participation in political life, sexual harassment in the workplace … we need urgent solutions because women are in a weak position. " The academician will be in Vancouver, along with AIW Executive Director Lina Abibafeh, who will hold a debate on "The Power of Communities in the Arab World." – We have so much work! And to move forward, we need the commitment of the new generations. Unfortunately, these files are not considered as priorities, they regret. Not to mention that all religion-related issues are taboo. "

Win small profits

Emanuel Lamouro acknowledges that "when we talk about progress on gender equality and look at the current situation, the Middle East and North Africa region is not in a very good position." On the other hand, it reveals that "it is approaching the issue in the vast majority of its meetings with local political figures," and notes that many of them "show a genuine desire to make progress." "But this is not easy," says the ambassador, "there are social norms and more technical barriers to these politicians, hence the need to" start with the most realistic goals ", even if it means" winning small wins "and see" the gradual "Any victory, in terms of laws or social norms, can only have a positive impact on women," she said, noting in particular the commitment of the Canadian Embassy to the NGO Learner of Lebanon, which teaches students, "these future parliamentarians', of gender equality It is.

Because the dossier "is gaining momentum in the world," the diplomat insists, noting "momentum on the issue." "The train of gender equality has left the station," she said, inviting all countries that are not yet inclined, including Lebanon, to take the train on the road before accelerating and not getting too difficult to enter. Emmanuel Lamoure welcomed France, who took over the G7 presidency after Canada, and pledged to "pursue the goal of promoting gender equality" alongside other Millennium Development Goals. Sustainable Development. "No one can oppose equality in society," concludes the diplomat. The question is not even discussed. "

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