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Cyprus passes historic legislation on gender equality

[Nicosia, 22 April 2016, Press release of the Cyrpus Women’s Lobby] The Cyprus Women’s Lobby welcomes the enactment into law, by the House of Representatives last Thursday, April 14 2016, of decisive importance for the promotion of gender equality.

The first bill passed into law foresees 30% minimum participation of either gender in all semi-governmental organizations’ boards. This highly political decision was backed by the Democratic Rally (DHSY), the Democratic Party (DHKO), the Movement for Social Democracy (EDEK) and the Greens Party, and was based on a proposal submitted by Susana Pavlou (Director of the Mediterranean Institute of Gender Studies and President of the European Women’s Lobby), Anna Koukkides Procopiou (President of Women of Europe AIPFE), Dimitra Kalogerou, (Chair of the Exchange and Securities Commission), Anastasia Papadopoulou (Lawyer) and Xenia Constantinou (President of the Women’s Organization of the Democratic Rally).

The law is a step in the right direction and ensures that women will play an essential role in economic decision-making, a matter that has received little political attention to date and in the absence of voluntary measures to increase women’s participation.
We look forward to the law being signed by President Nicos Anastasiades and its full implementation without delay.

The second bill that was passed concerns the amendment to existing employment legislation, following the dismissal of a woman who was absent from work on sick leave for one year for breast cancer treatment. The amendment was submitted jointly by two women Members of Parliament Ms. Roulla Mavronikola of the Movement for Social Democracy (EDEK) and Ms. Skevi Koukouma of the Progressive Party of Working People (AKEL) and recognizes the working rights of cancer patients and other patients suffering from chronic illnesses.

The Cyprus Women’s Lobby is a network of women’s organizations and NGOs based in Cyprus and is a member of the European Women’s Lobby (EWL).

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