On the occasion of the 8th March, the International Women’s Day, we are celebrating the commitment, achievements and resilience of women who are working and advocating for real gender equality and human dignity. The North-South Centre has always defended women's human rights everywhere, condemning all manifestations of violence against women and celebrating women's diversity alongside women-led civil society organisations. 2020 represents a great opportunity to move forward in truly achieving women’s human rights, thanks to a sound global will to work together towards this goal.
Awareness and advocacy efforts of the past decades have made possible denouncing the human rights violations faced by women and girls. Today we know that deeply rooted unbalanced distribution of power between men and women and harmful gender norms are both leading to and perpetuating sexism and gender-based violence. But we also recognise that solutions for gender equality and combating violence against women and girls exist. These solutions are provided and detailed in several Council of Europe’s standards, recommendations and strategies, such as the comprehensive Istanbul Convention, the recent 2019 recommendation on preventing and combating sexism and the key recommendations on protecting the rights of migrant, refugee and asylum-seeking women and girls. To implement these solutions, cooperation at several levels and everyone’s commitment are the decisive challenges. The North-South Centre continues to contribute to the global partnership within its role of platform of cooperation between countries, European and its neighbouring countries, between the different levels of governance and between reality on the ground and the international political scene.
2020 also marks the launch of new projects developed in the framework of a renewed North-South Centre programme, symbolically renamed “WE” precisely to emphasise that women’s rights are a concern of all of us. The North-South Centre will implement in 2020-2021 two new projects: “WE against gender-based violence” and “WE for diversity and equality”. Both will aim at strengthening multilevel cooperation and broadening it beyond the Euro-Mediterranean area, reaching out to Sub-Saharan Africa, and taking into consideration new sectors such media, culture, arts and education. Following the aim to promote a common understanding and unanimous condemnation of violence against women and girls in all its forms, the North-South Centre WE programme will continue to raise awareness on shared challenges by emphasising underreported and urgent issues mostly denounced by frontline actors working for and with women and girls.
The International Women’s day is an opportunity for the North-South Centre to recognise the work of its partners: the women who work with determination and passion to develop remarkable and outstanding projects; the women who use their voices and power to advocate for the cause; the brave women who share their own testimonies and experiences… The North-South Centre is grateful and honoured to work with you and being able to spotlight your exceptional work and commitment. Thank you!