Posted by: africanpressorganization | 10 March 2010

United Nations, Ivorian government and NGOs celebrate International Women’s Day in Côte d’Ivoire





United Nations, Ivorian government and NGOs celebrate International Women’s Day in Côte d’Ivoire



ABIDJAN, Côte d’Ivoire, March 10, 2010/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Côte d’Ivoire, Y. J. Choi, presided over the celebration of International Women’s Day at the headquarters of the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) on Monday, 8 March 2010.


Representatives from UNOCI, United Nations agencies, the Ivorian government, non-governmental organizations which are active in human rights and gender participated in the ceremony.


Sharing the message from the United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, with the audience, Mr. Choi recalled that sex equality and women’s independence were essential for the United Nations to achieve its mission, which is especially to establish equal rights and dignity for all.


He noted that even if there had been progress in the last 15 years, the United Nations – which makes it one of its priorities – believes that there was still a lot to do, namely in the fight against maternal mortality, violence against women and injustice. Because, recalled UNOCI’s chief, “as long as women have not been liberated from poverty and injustice, the fulfillment of all our objectives, peace, security, sustainable development, will remain uncertain”.


International Women’s Day is celebrated on 8 March every year. This year, there are two themes in Côte d’Ivoire, the international theme “equal rights, equal opportunities for all around the world” and a national theme, “Election and promotion for equal opportunities”.


According to the chief of UNOCI’s Gender Unit, Eva Dalak, the Day is part of the United Nations’ strategies to advance the search for equality in gender relations at every level and in all sectors. “It tells us the need to ensure that girls, women, men and boys, have the same rights, are entitled to the same opportunities, the same learning and working, social, economic and political conditions”. She stressed that UNOCI was committed to the post-crisis reconstruction and elections and provides support for capacity-building in this regard.


For Maténé Coulibaly, representative of UNIFEM in Côte d’Ivoire- the United Nations Development Fund for Women- if the 8th of March was not celebrated every year, the year would be incomplete. “This will be a year where we would have deliberately chosen to keep quiet about women’s production and achievements, as well as their rights to equal opportunities at the national, regional and international level”. Welcoming the fact that the Ivorian state, with the support of the United Nations, had committed to making progress with regard to women’s issues, Mrs. Coulibaly said that she would like those efforts to continue in order to allow women to have the same rights and opportunities as men.


On behalf of the Ivorian Government, the representative of the Ministry for Family, Women and Social Affairs, Mrs. Koné Soukoulé, thanked the United Nations agencies for their commitment to Côte d’Ivoire regarding women’s issues. She said that both themes for this year were in accordance with current concerns, such as improvement of the quality of life and election. “The next election is an opportunity to take into account the need for women to be as equally involved as men, as candidates, electoral staffs and voters”.


Mrs. Soukoulé also explained that this year, the Ivorian government had decided to celebrate the Day on 13 March in Man.


After the opening ceremony, representatives of the United Nations, the Government and NGOs took part in two workshops on “Constraints and opportunities for women regarding political participation” and “The active participation of men in the fight against violence against women”.



Mission of UN in Côte d’Ivoire


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