North-South Centre: the Role of Women in the Arab Spring

"Women as agents of change in the South Mediterranean Region": the international conference organised in Rome by the North South-Centre of the Council of Europe and the Italian Parliament has brought together representatives of international organisations, civil society and experts from the Southern shore of the Mediterranean.

"The issue of participation is linked to the fundamental principle of equality between men and women", said today Deputy Secretary General Maud de Boer-Buquicchio while addressing the opening session.."We all have seen the images of women in streets asking for change - continued the Deputy Secretary General - Seeing is not enough. We have to demonstrate in the next two days that we have also heard and understood their messages, and that we stand alongside them".  

The Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs Franco Frattini, the President of the North-South Centre, Deborah Bergamini, PACE President  Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations, Jorge Sampaio, Italian Minister for Equal Opportunity Mara Carfagna and President of the Italian parliamentarian delegation at PACE, Luigi Vitali are among the speakers at Palazzo Montecitorio.

The event takes place at the Italian Parliament's Sala del Mappamondo, analysing during two days the role of women as agents of political and economical change in the Arab Spring. A focus on the media as instruments for the promotion of women's' action is also envisaged, with the participation of journalists, bloggers, film directors and industry representatives. The Libyan activist Huda El Abdelaziz Muhamed has finally highlighted today the new context of democratic changes after the dictatorship.