Fight­ing for women’s rights

Costa Blanca News (South Edition) - - News Feature - Jtroughton@cb­

By Jack Troughton CHAM­PI­ONING women’s rights across Spain are some 40,000 ac­tive mem­bers of the Euro­pean Union of Women ‘Mu­jeres en Igual­dad’.

The pow­er­ful lobby is part of a Europe-wide net­work of EUW - the Spanish sec­tion’s name trans­lates as ‘Women in Equal­ity’ - and the group is run by a na­tional ex­ec­u­tive based in Madrid.

And in Spain, the in­flu­en­tial group has pub­lished a se­ries of pa­pers on the problems of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence and so­cial pol­icy in its quest for gen­der equal­ity in Spain.

The EUW’s new In­ter­na­tional Pres­i­dent, Mar­garet Hales, trav­elled from the Costa Blanca to the Spanish cap­i­tal for her first of­fi­cial visit to meet of­fi­cers and mem­bers of staff.

Mar­garet, who lives in Ben­i­tachell, said: “It was ex­plained to me that there are branches of EUW ‘Mu­jeres en Igual­dad’ across Spain with some 40,000 mem­bers. They are co­or­di­nated by a Na­tional Con­fed­er­a­tion Ex­ec­u­tive.

“They have ob­tained a va­ri­ety of fund­ing to carry out var­i­ous projects; th­ese in­clude three refuge homes for women who are the vic­tims of vi­o­lence, as well as a so­cial cen­tre in Madrid for im­mi­grants.

“They have also pub­lished a se­ries of ex­cel­lent pro­fes­sional doc­u­ments on such things as so­cial pol­icy, vi­o­lence against im­mi­grant women, and fe­male gen­i­tal mu­ti­la­tion.” The EUW is a non-Mar­garet (cen­tre) with Spanish EUW col­leagues­gov­ern­men­tal or­gan­i­sa­tion and was founded in Aus­tria in 1953. Its aim is to bring to­gether women across Europe to pro­mote women’s is­sues in the fur­ther­ance of peace.

The body also en­joys ob­server sta­tus at the United Na­tions in New York, Geneva and Vi­enna, at the Coun­cil of Europe, and the OECD, the Or­gan­i­sa­tion for Eco­nomic Co­op­er­a­tion and De­vel­op­ment.

Mar­garet said it was ideal that as a res­i­dent of Spain she was able to make her first of­fi­cial visit as pres­i­dent to the Madrid-based sec­tion.

“I met so many pro­fes­sional and com­pe­tent women whose fo­cus was to help women across Spain who had dif­fi­cul­ties of one sort or an­other.

“I was de­lighted to meet th­ese women. They have won in­ter­na­tional recog­ni­tion for their work. I look for­ward to them shar­ing their ex­pe­ri­ences at the var­i­ous meet­ings of the EUW.”

Mar­garet (cen­tre) with Spanish EUW col­leagues

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