Press Release: “We should invest in women and men to be their own liberators,” says UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka concluding her official visit to Moldova

In conclusion of her first official visit to Moldova, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and UN Women Executive Director Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka held high-level meetings with the President, Prime-Minister and Speaker of the Parliament to discuss and reiterate the importance of continued efforts to enhance policies and legislation to advance gender equality and women’s rights in Moldova.

Date: 13 June 2017

(Chisinau, 12 June 2017) – On her final day in Moldova, 12 June, UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka participated in a high-level event, “Women-led solutions to ending violence against women – The journey of survivors of violence,” where women survivors of violence, also known as “Positive Champions” for their advocacy across Moldova, shared their experience of overcoming violence and empowering hundreds of other Moldovan women to take the first steps towards a life free of violence.

 “Everybody who is being discriminated against, who is being oppressed, who lives with violence needs to be empowered to become the champions of their own generation. Investing in people’s capacity to stand up for themselves is the most valuable investment you can make,” said Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka.

Deputy Minister of Labour, Social Protection and Family in Moldova, Viorica Dumbraveanu, highlighted the important role women played in drafting national legislation to prevent and end violence against women: “Eliminating the deeply rooted stereotypes engrained in every society is amongst the biggest challenges we face in the achievement of gender equality. Having realized the importance of creating state policies that work for everyone, we have, for the first time ever, consulted women survivors of violence when the state strategy on preventing and ending violence against women was drafted.”

During the same day, Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka held high-level meetings with the President, Prime-Minister and Speaker of the Parliament to discuss and reiterate the importance of continued efforts to enhance policies and legislation to advance gender equality and women’s rights in Moldova.

Executive Director’s discussion with the Prime Minister, Pavel Filip, focused on the important achievements in advancing gender equality in Moldova and the criticality of sustaining and implementing these achievements. “The Government has a broader goal in mind than only drafting and implementing policies. We aim to deal with the deeply rooted problems, such as gender prejudices and stereotypes,” declared the Prime Minister.

In a meeting with the Speaker of the Moldovan Parliament, Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka discussed the adoption of recent legislation to strengthen the advancement of gender equality in the country. They especially focused on the adoption of a series of legislative acts in 2016, such as the one that introduced a 40 per cent gender quota on party lists and another on combating violence against women. At the meeting, the United Nations representatives reaffirmed their full support for the ratification of the recently signed Istanbul Convention for preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence.

UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka concluded her visit with a meeting with the President of the country, Igor Dodon, where she underlined the importance of commitments made by the President ensuring that reforms will not undermine gains made on gender equality and women’s empowerment.

The visit of Ms. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka to Moldova takes place in the framework of her official visit to Europe and Central Asia region, which was preceded by Ukraine.