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59th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women General Discussion

Saturday, 14 March 2015

59th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women
General Discussion

Statement by
Ms. Nafsika Vraila
Deputy Permanent Representative of Greece to the United Nations

Friday, 13 March 2015

Dear Chair,
Distinguished Participants,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

My country aligns itself with the statement delivered by the European Union.

Furthermore, in our national capacity we would like to add a few more words on this solemn occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women and the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.

The 59th session of the Commission on the Status of Women is an ideal opportunity to reiterate our strong conviction that gender equality constitutes a fundamental human right and a crucial aim of every modern democracy. Moreover, we regard the empowerment of women as an essential element for the development and social cohesion of every country.

Twenty years after the Fourth World Conference on Women progress has been made towards implementing the Platform of Action in various sectors. However, much remains to be done in the long road towards gender equality. Each country may face different challenges in gender issues but we are sincerely convinced that the international community is strongly committed to ensure that women and girls fully and equally enjoy all human rights and fundament freedoms.

Greece, facing over the last few years grave financial and social challenges, is fully aware that women are particularly vulnerable in a context of dire economic conditions. In time of severe unemployment, our priority is to empower women to keep their jobs and to implement action programs focused on those whose working status is at risk. Keeping women active in the job market is vital for the Greek society to maintain its balance and will greatly contribute to the recovery of our economy.

Our national strategy for the promotion of gender equality has been recently updated to respond to emerging challenges and social priorities. A newly designed result-oriented policy framework for gender equality was timely elaborated for the years 2014-2020. In accordance with this framework the following elements have been set as strategic priorities: promotion of equal access of women to the job market, empowerment of women in rural areas, prevention of female poverty, combating all forms of gender-based violence, gender mainstreaming in social and health protection issues, promotion of equal participation of women in public life, fighting against gender-based discrimination and stereotypes, as well as inclusion of gender equality in public policies.

Our primary aim is the implementation of specific actions in areas where women are underrepresented or more affected, namely violence against women, reproductive and sexual health, promotion in decision-making and removing stereotypes in the media.

To ensure the implementation of the above mentioned policies, Greece has launched a project of a Monitoring Mechanism for the strengthening of the gender perspective in all our policies. This Mechanism not only monitors all policies of Government and local authorities, but also employs a rating system in the form of a “gender impact assessment”.

Dear Chair,
Distinguished Participants,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Greece in times of serious financial and social challenge attaches major importance on gender equality. Greek women and girls, constituting more than half of our population, remain a vital source of talent, skills and knowledge and after all a viable road to development. Despite the harsh economic environment, we must spare no effort towards gender equality in addressing the serious challenges of recent years in order to prepare a more promising future for the generations to come.

Thank you.

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