YEREVAN–The Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) last week joined more than 40 political parties making up the Socialist International Women (SIW) for a council meeting that focused on politics and gender, the ARF Press Office reported. The summit, held in the tiny Euorpean country of Andorra on June 17-18, looked at the politics behind gender issues and their impact on driving social and economic development.
Being Armenia’s sole Socialist party, the ARF was represented at the conference by Maria Titizian, Vice President of the Socialist International (SI).
Welcoming remarks were delivered by Pia Locatelli, the President of SIW and by members of the host party, the Social Democratic Party of Andorra (PS), including Jaume Rifa, the coordinator of the Secretariat for Gender Policies, Ferran Goya, the First Secretary of the Social Democratic Party of Andorra and Rosa Ferrer, the Mayor of Andorra la Vella.
Topics Discussed at the conference included:
- Policies on Gender Equality in Andorra by Magda Mata, the Deputy Minister for Equality and Welfare.
- Policies on Gender Equality in Latin America and the Caribbean by Janet Camilo of the Dominican Revolutionary Party (PRD) of the Dominican Republic.
- Policies on Gender Equality in Africa by Luzia Ingles, MP, SIW Vice President and member of the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA).
- Gender Budgeting and Policies on Gender Equality by Soledad Cabezon Ruiz, National Secretary, Secretariat for Equality of the Spanish Socialist Workers’Party (PSOE) of Spain.
- Gender Budgeting in Local Administrations by Rosa Ferrer, Mayor of Andorra la Vella.
Also on the agenda was a discussion on the need for a 5th UN Global Conference on Women. Various tactics to raise awareness about the global summit were presented, with delegates being asked to lobby their national governments and activate their civil societies toward consensus on the issue.
Another point of focus during the summit was the need to reorganize the structures and institutions of the United Nations dedicated to gender issues. This year’s SIW conference came amid uncertainty over the fate of the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM). A plan is currently in place to dismantle the Fund, dedicated to advancing women’s rights and achieving gender equality. The SIW has been working against that outcome and has sent a letter urging UN General Secretary Ban Ki Moon to support UNIFEM.
A discussion also took place on the need for women socialists to be more proactive with issues affecting women globally and to push for full gender parity in all levels of decision-making locally.