Lo spread che conta è quello dei diritti umani

C’è uno spread più importante di quello fra titoli di stato italiani, spagnoli o greci e tedeschi, ed è quello tra i diritti umani concepiti sulla carta e quelli effettivamente fruibili dai cittadini. Ed è questo lo spread che gli stati sovrani e le istituzioni internazionali, a partire dal Consiglio d’Europa, devono sbrigarsi a colmare.

E’ questo il messaggio principale emerso dai lavori della II Conferenza dedicata alle donne agenti del cambiamento nel Mediterraneo che si è aperta oggi ad Istanbul. La prima si era tenuta a Roma un anno fa. Ad organizzarla, oggi come allora, il Centro Nord-Sud del Consiglio d’Europa, presieduto dall’On. Deborah Bergamini (Pdl), che all’apertura della conferenza ha sottolineato come “le donne si trovino a fronteggiare problemi simili in tutti i paesi del bacino mediterraneo, per questo abbiamo deciso di lasciare spazio, durante i lavori, alle loro storie“.

Le storie di vita, le esperienze, il racconto delle difficoltà e di come sono state superate sono il patrimonio che abbiamo deciso di condividere in questi due giorni, per trarre spunto e sostegno l’una dall’altra e rafforzare la costruzione di una rete attiva che consenta di fare pressione affinché le pari opportunità siano sempre in cima alle agende politiche dei governi. La partecipazione delle donne alla vita socio-economica e politica di un paese dipende, oltre che dalla loro scelta di impegnarsi, dalle possibilità – reali – che la società riconosce loro, a partire dalla libertà di circolazione e movimento, passando per l’incolumità fisica, fino al diritto di autodeterminare le proprie scelte in tutti gli ambiti della vita“.

Alla conferenza, organizzata in collaborazione con il parlamento turco, partecipano esponenti politiche, attiviste di diritti umani, imprenditrici e diplomatiche provenienti da tutti i paesi del bacino mediterraneo. Obiettivo dell’incontro e’ quello di dare continuità al processo euromediterraneo per l'”empowerment” femminile lanciato lo scorso anno a Roma ed individuare ed analizzare gli strumenti per rafforzare la partecipazione delle donne ai grandi cambiamenti sociali in atto nel Mediterraneo.

Di seguito il mio intervento di apertura dei lavori:

The Political and Socio-economical Empowerment of Women

based on Women’s Stories


4-6 November 2012

Grand National Assembly of Turkey

Opening Session

Intervention of Mrs Deborah Bergamini,

Chair of the North-South Centre of the Council of Europe


Ladies and gentlemen,

Dear friends,

I am extremely happy to be here today for the follow-up of the process we set up a year ago in Rome at the end of the conference on “Women as agents of change in the Mediterranean region”. I can see in the audience some of the friends who were in Italy but also some new ones, and this is very important since it means that our network grew. And in fact it did: today it counts approximately 400 members who can interact daily on our website (www.nswomennetwork.org)

I am also extremely happy for the location of this conference since I think that Turkey is an ideal bridge which, in the Mediterranean, can foster dialogue and cooperation among the different sides and the many actors present in the basin. That is why I would like to thank wholeheartedly the Turkish authorities for hosting us and, in particular, my friend and colleague, Mrs Nursuna Memecan, who adopted the Euro-Med Women Network with great enthusiasm.

The North-South Centre has been engaged in promoting women rights in the Euromediterranean region since 2006, in close cooperation with the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. The mission of the NSC is to work for a better future, where interdependence and solidarity are a reality. Hence the importance to work – as we do – with young people and women, the forces that can really shape the future of our communities. We all know how influential women are, already today, even when they do not officially appear. We have been shown how brave, powerful and revolutionary they can be, not only when they march on the streets – as they did, facing serious risks – but also when they perform some, I would say, “small” acts, as driving, in a country, such Saudi Arabia, where they are forbidden to. But I don’t think that these small acts can exist only in Saudi Arabia, I am sure that all of us, often, felt brave while taking a decision or acting in some ways in our everyday life. This is our strength. We can make the difference everyday.

Since 2011, the Centre has established the Euro-Med Network of Women, organising debates, seminars and capacity-building events, aimed both at providing a platform for women of the Middle East and North Africa region to share their experience and enter into dialogue with their European counterparts, and at the same time providing them with tools for self-empowerment. Mr Denis Huber, the (unfortunately) outgoing Executive Director of the Centre will tell you more in a while.

Dear friends, we are here today to discuss the Political and Socio-economical Empowerment of Women, its difficulties and its evolutions. I would like to remind that no empowerment is possible if a woman is not safe, free to circulate and free from violence, all fundamental rights and freedoms. It is particularly symbolic to recall it here today, in Istanbul, where in May 2011 the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence – the first international legally binding tool in this domain – was open to signature.

As you probably know, Italy, thanks to the pressure coming from the members of the Parliament, added its signature a few weeks ago, and this is an important step forward but not the goal. Our aim is to see the convention quickly ratified and, above all, implemented. That is why I will keep monitoring this process together with my colleagues of the Italian PACE delegation. I would also like to remind you that this convention is open to non CoE and non European member states, so all of us can work, in our states, to have it ratified and to guarantee the women of the Mediterranean basin with the same rights and protection everywhere.

Because there is a spread that is much more important than the value gap between the Italian, or Spanish, or Greeks, financial bonds and the German ones. It is the gap between human rights declarations and their implementation in real life, the gap between universally recognised values which have been officially ratified and the daily practices that too often deny these values, especially with regard to women. Without a firm global will of taking concrete decisions towards the elimination of these practices, the gap between rights declared on paper and rights safeguarded in reality will only continue to widen.

Dear friends, in these two days we will listen to the personal stories of many women who accepted our invitation to share with us the account of their lives, of the difficulties they found in their paths and of the sources of inspiration and support they could count on.

I think that everybody’s life is a combination of rationality and casualness, of predetermined schemes and unexpected opportunities that come out while we try to find a balance among many different aspects, and this is particularly true for women. The stories we will listen to will contain difficulties and (temporarily) defeats, but this will not be functional to give a victimized portray of women; on the contrary, the narration of how hurdles were cleared will serve as an encouragement. We all face similar and common problems so we can share the personal and political solutions we found do them.

I will personally listen with much interest to the many debates, and I am sure that they will be a real source of inspiration. I wish the same for all of you and I now leave the floor to Ms Filloreta Kodra, Vice-Minister of Labour in Albania, who represents also the chairmanship of the Council of Europe.

Thank you,


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