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PES Women President’s blog

Power to Women

Dear friends,

I am writing this in New York, where I am spending some days at the occasion of the 59th Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) of the United Nations. The week was very fruitful for PES Women. I was pleased to talk about our issues at several side events, on the subject of economic crisis and sexual exploitation with our friends of the European Women’s Lobby; the new generation of women in politics with our Irish Gender Equality Minister Aodhán Ó Ríordáin; and the vision of the Socialist International Women. 

On Sunday the 8th of March, International Women’s Day, I marched alongside thousands of other women and men. The atmosphere was joyful and I felt a lot of optimism. Of course a lot more has to be done for equality between women and men accross the world. The programme of the Beijing Platform for Action, at the centre of the discussions here, is far from complete. But I want to be hopeful. I was extremely happy to see so many young people marching on Sunday. Feminism is alive and thriving! The younger generation is very open to the feminist ideals. The youth of today is growing up with the idea that equality between women and men is key to the modernity of our societies. We owe it to them to fully reclaim the issue.

That is why I was extremely happy to see so many of our Gender Equality Ministers and State Secretaries present for the CSW gather to discuss the future of their cooperation. It is fantastic to see the work of PES Women take shape at governmental level into the action of our talented friends in the different governments. They also  signed the declaration calling for equal sexual and reproductive rights for all women in Europe and across the world under the motto "Power to women; My Body My Rights".

It is under this motto that, this year, we will strengthen the message of our latest campaigns for sexual and reproductive rights, for equal pay, for political empowerment, to stop violence against women, because it is not enough to give rights to women. As we are taking stock of the achievements 20 years after the signing of the Beijing declaration, it is clear that we also need to fight to give women the power to exercise those rights.

Together, we will make it happen – also with the hashtag #power2women.

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