Guidelines for the improvement of women’s status and situation in the Euro-Mediterranean area were developed by the inclusion of specific recommendations in the Five-year work plan [47 KB] adopted at the Barcelona Summit of Heads of State and Government, in November 2005.
A second Ministerial Conference on Strengthening the role of women in society took place in Marrakesh on 11-12 November 2009. The Marrakesh Conference enabled the partners of the Union for the Mediterranean to reaffirm their commitment to the Istanbul Conclusions and the Common Framework of Action 2006-2011, to evaluate progress achieved since its setting up and to learn the lessons of this first experience. Ministers also reviewed common actions initiated since the 1st Ministerial Conference and exchanged views on the ways and means of implementation of their common political will through actions at national, sub-regional and regional levels, targeted towards improving women's status, strengthening the role of women in political, civil, social, economic and cultural life, and combating all forms of discrimination against women and girls. see: Conclusions [120 KB]
Euro-Mediterranean Ministers stress that equal participation of women and men in all spheres of life is a crucial element of democracy. To this end, a Ministerial Conference on “Strengthening the Role of Women in Society” [103 KB] at Euro-Mediterranean level was held in Istanbul in November 2006. The Istanbul conclusions include a five year work plan and a follow-up mechanism.
The main three topics of the conference were:
1) Women’s rights as a guarantee of human rights and deepening democracy;
2) Women’s access to education and employment;
3) The role of culture and the media as key-instruments for changing perceptions of gender.
The Ministerial Conference was prepared during a Conference in Rabat (Morocco) in June 2006, which included government, civil society, academic and media responsible for gender issues from the Euromed region. This preparatory debate was prepared by research and analysis undertaken by three leading Euro-Mediterranean institutes. Research papers from EuroMeSCo , Femise , and the Anna Lindh Foundation for the Dialogue between Cultures helped the discussions in Rabat. The research papers of these three institutes are available on line: