Women’s political participation key to Moldova’s democracy and development

04 Jul 2014

Boosting women’s political participation and decision-making is fundamental for democracy and essential for achieving sustainable development in Moldova, participants taking part in an event organized by the United Nations in Moldova, Embassy of Sweden and civil society organisations concluded today.

The event brought together representatives of political parties, Parliament and Government, local public authorities, think tanks, youth and private sector to launch a new programme “Women in Politics in Moldova” to increase the voice and the participation of women in Moldova.

”The Republic of Moldova has committed internationally to open the way for more women to participate in decision-making across sectors”, said Nicola Harrington-Buhay, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Moldova. “More opportunities for women in both national and local politics have been a proven route for other countries to achieve greater progress for everyone”.

In Moldova, women represent only 19.8% in the Parliament, 17.4% in district and municipal council, and 28.6% in local councils, which is far below international standards and the country’s commitments under nationally and internationally agreed goals. The UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) which reviewed Moldova in October 2013 reiterated the persistence of patriarchal attitudes and deep-rooted stereotypes regarding the roles and responsibilities of women and men in the family and society and recommended the Government to make more effort in areas where women, in particular Romani women and women with disabilities, are underrepresented or disadvantaged. A recent Time Use Survey carried out by the National Bureau of Statistics shows that women in Moldova are performing most of the unpaid work that is not “accounted for” and that they spend twice as much men do for child care, thus serving as one of the bottlenecks for women’s engagement in politics and in the economy in overall.

“Sweden supports Moldova’s EU-integration aspirations. After ratification of the Association Agreement, Moldova has a potential to move ahead quickly toward modernization in a number of fields. Moldova has an unrealized potential in its women, many of whom are willing to participate actively in the country’s further development”, said Ingrid Tersman, Ambassador of Sweden in Moldova. “I trust that the country will use this historic opportunity, and that our programme will help to engage many more women in political decision-making, for the benefit of the whole country.”

The programme “Women in Politics in Moldova” will help enhance women’s political participation in politics and in decision-making in Moldova, including through supporting the review of the legislation and policy and advocating for temporary special measures. It will work with communities to foster participatory nomination of women candidates, including among marginalized groups of women, through encouraging their participation and developing their capacities before, during and after elections. Partnerships with media will be further expanded to achieve greater gender-sensitive reporting.

"Gender equality in politics is a fundamental precondition for ensuring a sustainable society. Participation of women in all aspects of political life, including as members of parliament, contributes to a more equitable society and strengthening of democracy”, said Sorin Mereacre, President of East Europe Foundation.  “Civil society plays a key role in promoting the legislation or mechanisms to ensure equal participation of men and women in politics. Continuous civil society development and supporting initiatives that promote gender equality are vital to achieve this goal”.

The “Women in Politics in Moldova” programme will be implemented during 2014-2016 with a budget of US$ 2.9 million, provided by the Government of Sweden and implemented by the UN Agencies - UN Women and UNDP in partnership with the East Europe Foundation and the Centre Partnership for Development.

 

Contact Information

Corneliu Eftodi, Programme Officer, UN Women, m. 069179166, corneliu.eftodi@unwomen.org or  Ludmila Tiganu, Communications Specialist, tel. 269 112, m. 069167710, ludmila.tiganu@undp.org