Timor-Leste commits to achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls

Minister of State and of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers and

Official Spokesperson for the Government of Timor-Leste

 Díli, September 29th, 2015

Timor-Leste commits to achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls

Timor-Leste has made a statement at the Global Leader’s Meeting on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment, fully committing to “achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls.”

Prime Minister Araújo joined over seventy Presidents and Prime Ministers to spotlight gender equality at this historic event hosted by UN Women and the People’s Republic of China in UN Headquarters on the 27th of September. For the first time at the United Nations, commitments to women and girls were made at the level of Heads of State and Government.

In his address the Prime Minister noted that the Constitution of Timor-Leste, passed with great pride in 2002, “provides that women must be treated equally in all aspects of life.” He explained that the nation’s Strategic Development Plan 2011-203 and the Government Program “prioritize action to end the discrimination women and girls face in all areas of their life and to stop gender based violence.”

Women have been agents of change in Timor-Leste’s past and will continue to be in the future. The independence struggle involved the participation of women in all fronts and women today are exercising their skills in positions of leadership. The Prime Minister pointed out that “Timor-Leste has one of the highest proportions of women parliamentarians in the world and the highest in the Asia-Pacific region.”

In affirming Timor-Leste’s support he said that the Government considers “the position of women and girls a key test of development progress.”  This means, he said “we must improve the situation of women and address pervasive gender discrimination if we are to meet our development goals.”

To achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls is Goal number 5 of the new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, incorporating 6 targets.

Spokesperson for the Sixth Constitutional Government, Minister of State Agio Pereira noted “the liberation of Timor-Leste was for all; women and men, girls and boys, and the growth and development of Timor-Leste needs the participation of all. The Government applauds the efforts of UN Women and recognizes the hosting role of China in this important UN event. Empowering women is empowering humanity.”