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ECR MEPs at female politics summit in Ethiopia

30 March 2015

ECR MEPs at female politics summit in Ethiopia

MEPs Julie Girling, Rikke Karlsson, Helga Stevens and Jana Žitňanská joined more than 400 female members of Parliaments and Governments at the Women in Parliaments Global Forum Summit 2015 this week at the African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

MEPs Julie Girling, Rikke Karlsson, Helga Stevens and Jana Žitňanská joined more than 400 female members of Parliaments and Governments at the Women in Parliaments Global Forum Summit 2015 this week at the African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The European Conservative and Reformists group MEPs met female politicians from across Africa and discussed the important contribution they are making across a range of issues including the battle against female genital mutilation, improving access to education and healthcare, boosting disability rights and promoting peace and stability. They also discussed how to combat poverty and corruption.

Julie Girling said: “There is an enormous female power-base waiting to be tapped. As MEPs we can use our influence to support communication between grass-roots organisations and the political level.”

During the conference, Helga Stevens spoke to delegates about the challenges of being a deaf female politician and said: “There are a number of challenges facing people with disabilities in Ethiopia. I have asked the African Union to commit to implementing the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities”

Rikke Karlsson said; “I have been inspired by the commitment of activists working to eradicate harmful cultural practices, especially FGM. It is clear to me that change takes commitment and anti-FGM campaigners in Ethiopia have that in abundance.”

Jana Žitňanská was concerned to learn that Ethiopia loses more money per year than it brings in in international development and said: “Corruption is still a huge problem in Ethiopia; the EU is working with the African Union in targeting illicit financial flows but clearly needs to do more.”

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