European Commission and UN Women Launch New Partnership on Women’s Empowerment

UN Women Deputy Executive Director John Hendra (left) and European Commissioner Stefan Füle (right) sign the contribution agreement for the new joint regional programme Spring Forward for Women. Photo credit: EU/Georges Boulougouris18 October 2012 – Yesterday, the European Commission and UN Women launched “Spring Forward for Women“, a new joint programme for the South Mediterranean Region.

The programme aims to support initiatives by national and regional institutions and civil society organisations to ensure women’s active engagement in decision-making and to empower them economically and politically in the context of the progress that has followed the Arab Spring.

“Arab women, like all women around the World, have a crucial role in shaping the evolution of their societies and hence the future of their countries. We need to ensure that women’s voices remain at the heart of the transformation process”, said European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle, at the launch.

“This programme is a critical step towards advancing women’s rights against the backdrop of the political, social and economic developments taking place in the region”, added John Hendra, UN Women Assistant-Secretary-General.

The launch of Spring Forward follows the signature of a strategic partnership agreement between UN Women and the European Commission in April this year. The Commission and UN Women already regularly work together on gender responsive budgeting, peace and security and political participation in Africa, Asia & the Pacific and the Southern Caucasus.

Source: European Commission Press Release (please read it for more information)

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