National Committee for UN Women - Canada

National Committee for UN Women - Canada
Inter-Parliamentary Forum of the Americas (FIPA)

Inter-Parliamentary Forum of the Americas (FIPA)

June 28, 2011 13:25 ET

Almas Jiwani, President of UN-Women Canada to Address Inter-Parliamentarian Forum of the Americas (FIPA)

The Meeting of the Group of Women Parliamentarians, Entitled Political Leadership of Women: Action Plan for the Americas

SANTO DOMINGO, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC--(Marketwire - June 28, 2011) -Almas, Jiwani, President of the National Committee for UN Women-Canada will be addressing the FIPA participants at Women's Political Leadership: Action Plan for the America's Conference from June 30-July 1 2011.

As a distinguished speaker for this event, Almas Jiwani will be flown to the Dominican Republic as a guest of the Inter-Parliamentarian Forum of the Americas (FIPA). She will open the panel on Leadership, Political Empowerment through an address entitled "Women's Economic Empowerment and the Role of Parliamentarians." The address will focus on women's economic empowerment and the role of Parliamentarians from the Americas and the Caribbean.

The event will be comprised of dignitaries, parliamentarians, international leaders, academics and civil society visionaries from 18 countries from the Americas. The objectives of the conference are: strengthening the political participation of women through the sharing of experiences of other women involved in political or academic fields, with a special emphasis on the political process in the Caribbean region; understanding the current challenges of democratic systems at guaranteeing the exercise of women's participation in politics; and establishing a geographic and strategic liaison among women parliamentarians from member countries.

The President of FIPA, and Canadian Member of Parliament, Mr Randy Hoback, states "We recognize the Group of Women Parliamentarians of the Americas as an important pillar of FIPA. Through it, we commit ourselves to improving relations and dialogue and to supporting political empowerment and the leadership of women in the Americas."

Dr. Gina Hill, Director General of FIPA, says, "We appreciate the expertise that Almas Jiwani will bring to our forum through her specialized insight on the issue of women's economic and political empowerment. FIPA's work with civil society and gender equality institutions and experts, such as UN Women and Ms. Jiwani, highlights our commitment to supporting Parliamentarians interested in the unique role played by women in political leadership in the Americas."

President Almas Jiwani's address will seek to elucidate the current obstacles and challenges that women face in the Americas. "In Latin America and the Caribbean, women are better trained and more capable than ever before to be successful in the job market, but joining the labour force poses huge challenges for them. Women entering the workforce are confronted with prejudice and blatant inequity in terms of professional development, personal advancement opportunities and working conditions. A significant gender earning gap persists in most LAC countries, despite significant strides towards decreasing the gender gap in education."

Ms. Jiwani asserts that parliamentarians and law-makers must strive to provide a means by which women may exert decision-making power and thereby become major players to the economy in which they staggeringly contribute to.

Almas Jiwani states: "The UN Human Development Report, states that "an estimated $16 trillion in global output is currently 'invisible,' of which $11 trillion is estimated to be produced by women. Yet few women attain roles as decision and policy makers in LAC. Thus, it is little surprise then that this economic disparity persists. By investing in women a nation can only prosper. It makes economic sense to invest in women. When they have access to finances, credit, technologies, and markets, they are likely to expand their businesses and contribute effectively to sustained economic growth and development of their economies."

She adds: "I would urge parliamentarians and law-makers at this meeting to partner with the UN system to support women in politics as decision makers by providing girls and women of tomorrow the skill-set and education in participatory, responsive and inclusive politics through parliamentary mentorship programmes in legislatures across the Americas so that better economic policies are enacted with women as key-players in the economic processes.

By working together in this manner we can fulfill our duty to eradicate the economic injustices which women face. Moreover, how can we possibly forego the economic opportunity to invest in ourselves? A nation of economically empowered women can signify only prosperity for all."

About UN Women

UN Women works to address the challenges of promoting gender equality globally. It will be a dynamic and strong champion for women and girls, providing them with a powerful voice at the global, regional, and local levels. The main roles of UN Women are to support inter-governmental bodies in the formulation of policies, global standards, and norms; help member states implement these standards and forge effective partnerships with civil society; and to hold the UN system accountable for its own commitments on gender equality.

About National Committee for UN Women - Canada

The National Committee for UN Women - Canada is an independent non-governmental organization that raises UN Women's profile and promotes its work in Canada; the National Committee raises funds for UN Women projects; creates awareness within the Canadian government for increased contribution for UN Women projects; and encourages non-governmental organizations to promote and support UN Women initiatives.

About FIPA (Inter-Parliamentary Forum of the Americas)

The Inter-Parliamentary Forum of the Americas (FIPA) is an independent network made up of the national legislatures of those governments who are members of the Organization of American States (OAS). FIPA members are committed to promoting parliamentary participation in the inter-American system and to developing inter-parliamentary dialogue on issues of importance to the hemisphere. FIPA seeks to encourage the sharing of experiences and best practices amongst its members, and works to strengthen the role of legislatures in democratic development and to promote harmonization of legislation and hemispheric integration as instruments of sustainable and harmonious development in the region.

The Group of Women Parliamentarians of FIPA meets twice per year and provides a forum for Parliamentarians interested in the special role and challenges faced by women to share knowledge, experiences and best practices. The Group's objectives are:

  1. To strengthen the leadership of female politicians through ongoing regional exchange;
  2. To promote the creation of conditions for equal opportunities, prioritizing the fight against poverty and the elimination of employment discrimination;
  3. To strengthen democracies in the countries of the Americas in an effort to achieve respect for human rights, and conditions that promote equitable and sustainable social development;
  4. To promote the creation of mechanisms which encourage the participation of women in politics; and
  5. To strengthen the active participation by women at FIPA working meetings, incorporating the gender perspective into each of the topics analyzed by the organization.

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