News Local Josie Christodoulou appointed Advisor to MFA on gender mainstreaming

Josie Christodoulou appointed Advisor to MFA on gender mainstreaming

Josie Christodoulou has been appointed an Advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs on gender mainstreaming in foreign policy.

A press release issued by the MFA on Friday says that within the framework of the ongoing Ministry of Foreign Affairs reform and the decision on the mainstreaming of the gender dimension in the foreign policy of the Republic of Cyprus, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Christodoulides, has appointed Josie Christodoulou, as Advisor on gender mainstreaming, as of today, on a non-remunerative basis.

The decision to mainstream gender dimension in Foreign Policy has been taken within the broader context of the Ministry’s strategy to introduce new horizontal axes in the enhancement of the foreign policy pillars of the Republic of Cyprus. Towards this direction the Ministry will design and undertake targeted actions and initiatives at a regional, European and international level with the aim of contributing to efforts to eliminate inequality between women and men in all sectors and to speed up progress in this direction.

As Advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ms. Christodoulou will submit concrete suggestions in order to support these efforts. More specifically, Ms. Christodoulou will, inter alia, advise the Minister on issues related to:

—     the planning and implementation of specific actions and  initiatives within the framework of the foreign policy of the Republic of Cyprus, on issues related to the advancement  of gender equality,

—     the promotion and adoption of an institutional strategy towards equality between women and men and the integration of the gender dimension within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

—     the advancement of the role that the Republic of Cyprus can play in the direction of equality between women and men at the regional, European and international level

—     the utilization of the potential of the Republic of Cyprus as an EU Member State enjoying excellent relations with all its neighboring countries, in order to promote activities that are designed to combat inequalities between women and men and support equality, equal rights and equal opportunities for all,

—      the engagement and development of collaborations with civil society on the basis of such activities, having as their main objective the promotion of equality between women and men.

Equality between men and women, as legally and politically enshrined at the national, regional and international level, constitutes a core value ​​of, inter alia, the European Union, the United Nations, the Council of Europe and the Union for the Mediterranean. The United Nations underline that gender equality enhances socio-economic life and improves people’s lives in all areas, while gender inequality is a factor that undermines peace and leads to conflict and violence.

Although progress has been made in this direction at a global level, it is at the same time evident that gender equality has not yet been fully achieved. In the year 2019, women and girls all over the world continue to live in conditions where they are deprived of their rights and liberties and face various forms of violence, lack equal access to opportunities in all spheres of life including in education, health, work, as well as in political, economic, cultural and social life.

Who is Josie Christodoulou

Josie Christodoulou is an independent expert on issues related to women`s rights, gender equality, migration, trafficking in persons and the promotion of gender mainstreaming at national, regional, European and international level.

Among other things, she has worked extensively on the above and more specifically on preventing and combating the trafficking of women for the purposes of sexual and labor exploitation, gender and migration, the prevention and combating of violence against women, and equal representation between women and men. She has served as Policy Coordinator at the Mediterranean Institute of Gender Studies for 14 years, where she contributed to the formation and sustainability of the Institute.

As a Policy Coordinator of the Institute, she has been an active member of various European and national platforms and networks, such as a member of the Board of Directors of the Cyprus Women`s Lobby (the National Platform of the European Women`s Lobby), member of the European Migrant Women Network and a member of the working group for the sexual violence of the European Network Women against Violence in Europe (WAVE – Women Against Violence Europe).

She has also participated in numerous Expert groups of the European Commission as these relate to trafficking in human beings, amongst others at the national and European level.  Further, she was nominated by Cyprus and appointed as a Member of the Group of Experts of the Council of Europe on Trafficking in Human beings.

Josie has contributed to a number of publications, including research reports, books and journals and conducted a number of seminars and trainings.  She holds an MA in Racial Equality Studies from Middlesex University in the UK and a BA in Psychology from the University of Indianapolis in the USA.

(Cyprus News Agency)

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