VILNIUS, 8 March 2011 – The 100th Anniversary of the International Women's Day is a call to intensify work to promote gender equality, the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Audronius Ažubalis, said today.
"Gender equality is at the core of human rights. Equal contributions from both women and men are needed to build strong, prosperous and secure societies," said Ažubalis.
"Though gender equality has advanced significantly in the 100 years since the first International Women's Day was observed, the work is not yet complete: women are still not on equal footing with men in a number of fields,” he said. “The OSCE values democratic representation and equal opportunities; therefore, we must work more actively on women’s economic empowerment and involvement in conflict prevention and resolution. We must also build confidence between communities and promote greater representation of women in political and public office."
Through the 2004 OSCE Action Plan for the Promotion of Gender Equality, the OSCE's participating States have committed to work to promote a better gender balance.
They plan to do so by devising and implementing policies and projects that take into account concerns, interests and contributions of both women and men across the politico-military, the economic and environmental, as well as the human dimensions of the OSCE’s work.