Cyprus remains relatively low in the rankings of the EU’s Gender Equality Index and this indicates the necessity to improve women’s representation in politics, leadership and decision-making positions.
This is what President of the House of Representatives Annita Demetriou told participants on Friday at the “Orange the World” campaign aiming to raise awareness on violence against women.
The event which took place in the House of Representatives was attended by current and former members of parliament, women members of the diplomatic corps in Cyprus, women officials and representatives of women`s organizations.
“It is time to talk openly and to be proactive on the issue of gender-based violence,” she said.
“In this respect, the initiative ‘Orange the World’ is an excellent opportunity to raise awareness, to mobilise society and stakeholders to take a stance against such deplorable phenomena that need to be eradicated from our society,” she added.
The House of Representatives has been involved in specific initiatives and activities in the context of promotion of gender equality and the protection of women’s rights, she also said.
Stressing that important steps have been taken in the legislative field, she added that she was among the MPs who tabled the legislative proposal that led, in 2020, to the passage of the Law on Combating Sexism and Sexist Behaviour. This criminalises sexist acts as well as online sexism.
In Spring 2021, two additional and very significant legislative acts were promulgated – the Law on the Protection from Harassment and Stalking.
This establishes a comprehensive framework in civil and criminal law regarding the said phenomena of harassment and stalking.
Secondly, the Law on the Prevention and Combating of Violence against Women and of Domestic Violence that harmonises Cyprus with the provisions of the Istanbul Convention.
The Law addresses offences of a wide nature including physical, psychological and financial violence, as well as the dissemination of sexual and pornographic material.
What is more, the Law aims at acting preventively and focuses on education, training and awareness-raising among professionals.