Finland ambassadors meet with Knesset committee on gender equality

“They wanted to learn about our mechanisms and how we operate in this field, and it seems that they were impressed.”

March 26, 2017 20:29
1 minute read.
Joint Arab List MK Aida Touma-Sliman

Joint Arab List MK Aida Touma-Sliman. (photo credit: FACEBOOK)

The Knesset Committee for the Advancement of the Status of Women and Gender Equality on Sunday hosted ambassadors from Finland to share strategies for implementing policy in the field.

Finnish Ambassador to Israel Anu Saarela and Finnish Ambassador for Global Women’s Issues and Gender Equality Anne Lammila met with committee chairwoman MK Aida Touma-Sliman (Joint List) and MK Bennie Begin (Likud) and discussed local and global initiatives to advance gender equality in the two countries.

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Among the initiatives discussed were United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on the role of women in achieving peace and security and the Istanbul Convention on preventing and fighting violence against women and domestic violence, which took Finland 10 years to ratify.

The discussion was productive and our Finnish counterparts were eager to learn from the committee about methods used in Israel to oversee gender equality issues, Touma-Sliman told The Jerusalem Post.

“They wanted to learn about our mechanisms and how we operate in this field, and it seems that they were impressed,” she said.

One of the ideas we discussed with our colleagues is gender budgeting and the process the committee uses to implement it in government ministries, the local administration and other public authorities, she said.

Touma-Sliman stressed the importance of Israel fully implementing the UNSCR 1325 decision.

“It is a positive thing that Israel has adopted the decision from 2000, but it seems that it focuses only on the part of equal representation in government,” she said. “It is important to remember that this decision also addresses the situation of women in an armed conflict, and that we have here a situation in which women are living under occupation, and that has to be dealt with.”

“I also hope that we can advance the signing of Israel on the Istanbul Convention,” Touma- Sliman said. “Three weeks ago, I started moving in this direction with my committee, and we opened a dialogue with several government ministries.”

Although it will require many legislative changes and international oversight of the executive branch’s activities, I am hopeful that Israel will join this pact, she said.

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