Smash the glass ceiling together; UWE theme more women in deciscion-making positions

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Recently the European Women’s Lobby, the largest network of women’s rights associations in Europe, launched its most recent progress report on women on boards in Europe, Cracks in the glass ceiling or just a trick of the light?, at a vibrant and engaging launch event supported by the Permanent Representation of Italy to the European Union. It is also a theme of the UWE to strive for more women in decision-making positions.

The packed launch event attracted seven esteemed panellists from the business world, academia, the European Union and civil society. A structured yet informal meet-the-panellists group activity kicked off the evening, leading to a fruitful and dynamic panel discussion with excellent audience interaction, ending with a delicious Italian cocktail.

Cracks in the glass ceiling or just a trick of the light? shows that overwhelmingly, the most effective way to increase the representation of women in decision making positions – and in this case, on company boards – is through binding legislation with regular monitoring, intermediary targets and strong sanctions. While some countries (such as Iceland, Norway, France and Italy) have taken the lead and introduced legislation along these lines, Europe as a whole is dragging its feet and making progress that is all too slow. The very latest data show that just two out of ten board members in Europe are women.

The launch event of this report served as a springboard for a wider discussion around the importance of women’s leadership, the reasons for the ongoing overrepresentation of men in the higher echelons of decision-making, and the best ways to tackle the glass ceiling. Some of the most memorable and inspirational quotes from our panellists were:

‘We have to smash the glass ceiling together’ – Monika Ladmanova, Advisor on Gender to Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality Věra Jourová

‘There is a need for male champions of change’ – Dennis Abbott, Managing Director Communications, Burson-Marsteller Brussels

‘Macho culture and old boys’ clubs making decisions over our heads are dangerous for our democracies’ – Joanna Maycock, Secretary General of the European Women’s Lobby

‘It’s time to lock arms…this is a systemic problem and has to be looked at holistically’ – Professor Linda Scott, DP World Chair for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford

Equipped with their newest report, the European Women’s Lobby invites decision makers, member states and companies to make a choice: to stick with a failed system or to commit to a sustainable future based around collaboration and creativity, where leadership takes on a new meaning and all people, women and men, are included equally in decision making processes. The EU directive on women on boards is one important step towards this transformative change and the EWL calls on this to be implemented without further delay.

Find the report here

See all photos from the event here

See the programme with speakers’ biographies here


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I just signed the petition “Milli Eğitim Bakanlığı: “Medeni Kanunuma Sahip Çıkıyorum”İmza Kampanyasına BİR İMZA DA SİZDEN BEKLİYORUZ #medenikanunumasahipçıkıyorum” and wanted to see if you could help by adding your name.#medenikanunumasahipçıkıyorum  #standupforwomensrights

Articles 124-143-145 of the Civil Code must be observed and enforced

Please sign our petition‎


Article‎ 124 of the Civil Code prohibits the marriage of boys and girls under the age of 17. Let’s enforce the existing law. Underage marriages and subsequent child birth are a leading cause of health problems and even death for young girls. Girls belong in schools not in maternity wards.


Article 143 of the Civil Code prohibits the use of religious ceremonies as a substitute for officially recognized civil marriages‎. Civil ceremonies enshrine the rights and obligations of husbands and wives in legal terms. Marrying women and girls off through religious ceremonies, circumventing civil union, deprives them and their offspring of their legal entitlements such as child and spousal support, custody, sharing of marital properties and inheritance.


Article 145 of the Civil Code prohibits men marrying multiple women. The practice of polygamy is discriminatory and degrading. It deprives women subjected to this practice of their legal rights under the Civil Code.


Our goal is to reach 1,000,000 signatures and we need more support. You can read more and sign the petition here:



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Venue : Europa House, London.

GIORNATA CELEBRATIVA DELL’INSEGNAMENTO DELLA LINGUA ITALIANA NEL REGNO UNITO E IN IRLANDA. The UWE Vice-President ElenaFlavia Castagnino Berlinghieri (along with Elena Trincanato, University of Bath, UK) has given a lecture on 16 December 2014entitled “Cultural Heritage and CLIL methodology in Italian schools. A key factor in intercultural education to ensure quality school processes for all in Europe and as a means to promote Italian language in British schools”. It was really a great success!!

Elena Flavia Castagnino, Vice-President University Women of Europe.

Vote for Human Rights Tulip

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The Human Rights Tulip is an annual award for individuals or organisations that promote human rights worldwide in innovative ways.  Every year, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs awards the Human Rights Tulip to a human rights defender who promotes and supports human rights in innovative ways.
You are encouraged to vote for Dr Sima Samar, who is bravely bringing human rights to Afghans.
Dr Sima Samar recently attended the IFUW conference in Istanbul.
To vote for Dr Sima Samar go to

Dr. Sima Samar is the daring, innovative and steadfast chair of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, promoting human rights and especially women’s rights, continuing when the Taliban came to power. Although she has worked for human rights all her adult life, it was when the Taliban came into power in 1996 that Dr. Samar’s name became synonymous with human rights.She became a hero to the women and girls of Afghanista24_simasamardefn because she stood beside them and fought back when the rest of the world dismissed the terrible predicament as something cultural. She defied the Taliban and kept schools for girls open and operated health clinics for women despite death threats. There are many beneficiaries of her work. She crafted human rights into the Constitution of the country when she was Deputy Prime Minister of the new government. She brought human rights to every corner of the country when she was Minister of Women’s Affairs.

Learning and Sheltering

People like Dr. Sima Samar let the Afghan people know that they have the right to food, shelter, health care, education, and the right not to be beaten or sold as property. These are very empowering and innovative concepts in a setting like Afghanistan. In 2010, she founded a university called the Gawharshad Institute of Higher Learning where young people (especially girls) can understand their rights as well as their responsibilities. Dr. Sima Samar has also established shelter facilities in 2002 for orphans due to the war and the ongoing violence. These shelters not only provide protection but also technical support to allow them to continue their education. This protects them from human traffickers. An average of 200 children per year are helped in this way. Dr. Sima Samar’s shelters for children have been adapted elsewhere in the country when shelters for women, who are victims of domestic violence, were established.


The profiles of the nominees are provided by the nominees or by the nominating organizations or individuals. The views expressed are theirs.


Ending violence against women and girls: 25 policies nominated for Future Policy Award 2014

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Twenty-five policies on ending violence against women and girls have been nominated for the Future Policy Award 2014. This was announced by the World Future Council, the Inter-Parliamentary Union and UN Women today. Violence against women and girls is one of the most pervasive and predominant forms of human rights abuses in the world.

One in three women worldwide will suffer sexual and/or physical violence in her lifetime. A human rights violation of pandemic proportions, the pervasive violence also impedes economic development and poverty reduction by limiting women’s choices and their ability to act. Tackling violence against women on all levels is, therefore, a necessary prerequisite for gender equality and sustainable development.

The 25 nominated policies competing for the prestigious prize represent all continents. The nominations were put forward by international organizations, NGOs and noted experts in the field. They represent the wide range of policy dimensions: from comprehensive international treaties and national action plans to measures that ensure coordinated support of women who report an attack and press charges. The nominated laws and policies will be analyzed in a thorough evaluation process and assessed by a high-level jury.

The winners will be announced by the World Future Council in October 2014, in partnership with the Inter-Parliamentary Union and UN Women. For the first time, the award ceremony will be held at the Inter-Parliamentary Union’s Assembly in Geneva, for which more than 1,200 delegates from among 164 national Parliaments will gather.

The Future Policy Award is the first and only award that celebrates policies rather than people on an international level. Since 2009 it has been awarded in a different policy field each year to showcase existing and working policy solutions to an international audience.

For the full list of nominated policies as well as jury members, see 

Future Policy Award

The Future Policy Award is designed to alert policymakers and the public to the importance of best practice in law-making and highlight outstanding examples of regulatory vision. The Award draws attention to existing sustainable policies and demonstrates that when political will is asserted, positive change can happen. Celebrating visionary policies raises public awareness, encourages rapid learning and speeds up policy action towards just, sustainable and peaceful societies. For more information, see

Previous Future Policy Award Topics:

2013: Disarmament
2012: Oceans and Coasts
2011: Forests
2010: Biodiversity
2009: Food Security

World Future Council

The World Future Council consists of 50 eminent global change-makers from governments, parliaments, civil society, academia, the arts and business. We work to pass on a healthy planet and just societies to our children and grandchildren with a focus on identifying and spreading effective, future-just policy solutions. The World Future Council was launched in 2007 by Jakob von Uexkull, Founder of the ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’. It operates as an independent foundation under German law and finances its activities from donations. Find out more at:

Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU)
As the global organization of national parliaments, the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) works to establish democracy, peace and cooperation among peoples by uniting members to drive positive change. Its focus on gender equality and in particular, women’s political participation, addresses a key component of democracy. Since 2008, IPU has also been working with parliaments to end violence against women through advocacy and awareness-raising activities and the introduction and implementation of legislation to tackle the issue. Find out more at:

– See more at: