METROPOLIS Women Meeting
The METROPOLIS Women International Network, introduced in Berlin in 2005, has the aim of creating an international space for exchange and co-operation between women holding political office, whether elected or appointed, executives, managers, and professionals operating at a local and metropolitan level. It has the following objectives:
- Improving the representation and leadership of women in local authorities;
- Facilitating the dissemination of experiences and good practices relating to gender equality;
- Providing gender awareness in international debates.
The meeting was co-ordinated by Montserrat Pallarès and Mireia Zapata, both from the METROPOLIS Secretariat General.
The meeting was presided by Mme. Cathérine Zouzoua, Deputy Chair of the Africa region, who opened the session by delegation of the Chair, Francina Vila, making reference to the activities carried out by the Network, and the main challenges. Subsequently the policies and activities that the Network proposes to carry out from 2015 to 2017 were listed. This session also debated the organization of the 4th ‘Dynamic Cities Need Women’ World Forum in Latin America, which is to be held at the end of November 2015 and which will focus on gender mainstreaming in public policies. Later there was a presentation on the internal regulations which contain the latest resolutions of the Network.
The meeting was closely linked to the ‘METROPOLIS Women: Gender mainstreaming in public policies’ workshop, which was held afterwards. In addition, the concept of gender mainstreaming was tackled, consisting in taking into account the distinct realities of women and men in society, and designing adaptive or responsive actions in order to achieve equality between the two sexes. The aim is not simply to create and implement actions that are specifically aimed at women, but rather to design, implement, and assess all policies through the lens of identifying and envisaging their repercussions on women and men. Thus, the aim is to promote the inclusion of the gender perspective in the organization, planning, and implementation of policies.
At the meeting, emphasis was also placed on the central role played by the METROPOLIS Women network, not just with the aforementioned workshop, but also with the 2015-2017 METROPOLIS Action Plan, in the Declaration of the Association for Habitat III, and in the ‘Connecting the Dots’ workshop. Likewise, some of the representatives participated as speakers at some of the Thematic and Plenary Sessions (‘Community Leadership Experiences’ and ‘Voice of the Mayors’).
It was suggested that some of the ideas and proposals should be considered, such as:
- Every year, the Network ought to focus on one issue every year in order to present a programme to METROPOLIS on the chosen subject, which would allow it to work better, instead of tackling too many issues all at once.
- There was acknowledgement of the effort being made to recruit new representatives in the Latin America region, and consideration was given to the need to interact and add participants who are not necessarily civil servants in women-related areas in their cities.
- There was a proposal to make the Network more visible, and the example was given of applying for international co-operation funds, or promoting local work with women at international events.
- Consideration was given to the role of women and their contribution to the whole process of change. There were comments on the increase of women's participation in political, sporting, and other spheres.
Towards the end of the meeting, the commitments undertaken were reviewed. These were as follows: the revision of the Women and Cities Document until the end of May; the decision on the city where the ‘Dynamic Cities Need Women’ Forum is to be held; the closure of the regional agendas, and the continuation of the work on the Habitat III Document.