Speaking at the plenary session "Women and Power: Objective 50/50" of the World Forum for Democracy, on 19 November 2018, the President of the Congress Chamber of Regions, Gunn Marit HELGESEN (Norway, EPP/CCE) highlighted the crucial role of local authorities in addressing the challenges of gender equality on a daily basis. "The local and regional level is often a springboard for women's national careers, especially in politics," she said. "In the Congress, we are convinced that if we do not achieve a high representation of women at the local level, we will not achieve parity in national parliaments and governments," she added.
Mrs HELGESEN underlined that the fair and equitable participation of women and men in public life is fundamental to democracy and that this battle also requires the involvement of men, the media and all levels of government.
While welcoming the progress made, she stressed that there were still many obstacles to achieving women's full potential. She stressed that the promotion of women is not only the responsibility of women but also the responsibility of the whole society. "We want to see more men advocating for women," she said, adding that the promotion of women will not only benefit women but will also result in opportunities for all.