“It is impossible to achieve a success without women’s participation.” This statement was made on the first day of the 137th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) by chairman Saber Chowdhury. The 26th session of the Forum of Women Parliamentarians within the IPU showed a growing role of women in the world. On the second day of the conference, the Inter-Parliamentary Union proved its course for gender equality by electing chairperson of the Federation Council of Russia’s Federal Assembly Valentina Matvienko as the new head of the IPU. As noted by Saber Chowdhury, who was vacating the post, two candidates were under consideration for this office and both were women.
At the opening of the Forum of Women Parliamentarians, Valentina Matvienko said that progress in improvement of women’s position in the world that has been reached recently would not have been possible without the consistent work of each parliament. This includes work within the framework of the Forum of Women Parliamentarians.
I am confident that at the current stage women, can promote the development of parliamentary diplomacy and alleviation of international tension. Diplomacy is a skill used to not bring a case to an acute conflict. It’s an art to negotiate without firing a single shot, and to achieve general welfare without bloodshed. We, women, should use our growing influence to address the most pressing and urgent world problems such as terrorism, global poverty, the spread of illegal migration, as well as threats to food and environmental safety. During the current assembly, a core theme is strengthening an interreligious and interethnic dialogue. I am convinced that women parliamentarians will make their own contribution to elaborate upon on this.”
Matvienko’s predecessor Saber Chowdhury stated that the Forum of Women Parliamentarians is a strong component of the Inter-Parliamentary Union.
Democracy building and supporting are possible only with equal participation of men and women. It is necessary to do so that we not only speak of gender equality but take specific actions. And IPU engages in activities that bring concrete results. Twenty five percent of speakers in parliaments of the world are women. The number of Inter-Parliamentary Union members is growing. I would like to note that thirty percent of participants of the 137th Assembly of IPU are women,” Saber Chowdhury underlined.
Sakhiba Gafarova, deputy chairperson of the Milli Mejlis Committee for Family, Women and Children Affairs in Azerbaijan, noted that women represent a huge number of countries at the Forum. All of them are united by one thing – kindness and love. According to her, women are homemakers, and at the same time they are active, engaged in politics and economy and take part in developing democracy in their own countries.
In our country of Azerbaijan, women were granted the right to vote and to be elected back in 1918. We became the first in this respect in the Muslim world. I think that this single fact already speaks volume”, the deputy added.
In turn, Dmitry Saveliyev, head of the Russia-Azerbaijan inter-parliamentary friendship group, said that Azerbaijan is a very illustrative country in terms of gender equality and observance of women’s rights.
Let me remind you that the respected Mekhriban Aliyeva is the First Vice President of the country, and she has represented Azerbaijan abroad in an extremely effective manner. Serving as a deputy of the Milli Mejlis, she supervised the most challenging social projects in the country. This appointment has become a logical stage of recognition for Mekhriban khanum, due to the outstanding activities that she has implemented. However, this also reflects an important stage of the state of society. Increasingly, more women are holding the most responsible offices both in Russia and in Azerbaijan. And one may only welcome this in today’s world. There are too many armed conflicts on the Earth, and a risk of terroristic threat is not diminishing. It is evident that we need joint efforts to handle this situation. And women are making a strong contribution to solving the issues of our times,” commented Saveliyev.