Tiziana Zennaro speech 2016 Women's Film Week Opening CeremonyMar 8, 2016
Your Excellences, Distinguished Guests, Dear Ms. Buttenheim, Dear Members of the Technical Committee on Gender Equality, Ladies and Gentlemen, Friends and Colleagues,
International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities.
The 2016 theme for UNDP Women’s Film Week is “She did it! Positive Women’s stories” and as you will have the opportunity to see in the next days, this year’s film selection does precisely this.
This year’s films celebrate women who have played an extraordinary and often pioneer role in the history of their countries and communities. Fore example,in the art and literature field like the Swedish writer Astrid Lindgren, French painter Berthe Morisot or tonight’s film protagonist Skeeter.
Women who fought for equality in their faiths group like the protagonist of the Dutch film “Does God Love Women”, but also women who become mothers in post-conflict contexts like we will see in the Slovenian film.
Women who are faced today with conflict and decide to leave with their families towards safer new beginnings.
Refugees’ women, who will be at the center of a dedicated night on Wednesday, organized in partnership with UNHCR, and where we will have the opportunity after the film to hear their real voices and stories. Modern times heroines and yet very ordinary women.
This is in a nutshell our third Women’s Film Week.
We chose this year to think positive and tell positive stories, nevertheless we are all aware that there are still gross inequalities in access to paid employment in some regions, and significant gaps between men and women in the labour market.
Sexual violence and exploitation, the unequal division of unpaid care and domestic work, and discrimination in public decision making, all remain huge barriers.
On your chairs you can find UNDP’s Regional Director’s open-ed ahead of the International Women’s day with statistics and figures about gender inequalities in our region.
We hope that while reflecting on these positive examples we can also, in the UN Secretary-General words “sweep away the assumptions and bias of the past so women can advance across new frontiers”.
Let me conclude by thanking all our partners, more than twenty, who supported us in the preparation of this week’s events.
I wish to warmly thank all Embassies and Cultural Institutions in Cyprus who provided us also this year with a very relevant film selection, including those Embassies’ whose titles could not be included due to having to fit into a week-long programme.
Thank you also to the Goethe-Institut in Cyprus who for the third consecutive year is our main partner in this initiative and allowed us to hold the Film Week in its premises.
Thanks to the Technical Committee on Gender Equality for the auspices, UNFICYP and UNHCR colleagues.
Let me also thank our partners in Larnaca and Famagusta, the Larnaca Cinema Society, Larnaca Municipality and Magem Famagusta Youth Organization.
We wish them best of success as they start their Film Week tonight as well.
Happy 2016 Women’s Film Week to all!