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Equality of women and men in local life

Equality - 04.06.2018

CEMR presents its conference on equality, diversity and inclusion in Bilbao
Equality, diversity and inclusion can be translated from words into concrete action for all the women, men and children of Europe’s towns and regions. This is the objective of the CEMR conference on "Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. Differences unite us!", to be held in Bilbao, from 11 to 13 June.

Today, the Mayor of Bilbao, Juan Mari Aburto, the president of the Association of Basque Municipalities (EUDEL), Imanol Landa, and CEMR Secretary General, Frédéric Vallier, outlined the goals and the sessions programme of the event, during a press conference in the Basque city.

As he presented the conference, CEMR Secretary General, Frédéric Vallier explained that “CEMR plays a leading role on equality, diversity and inclusion. Through its Charter for Equality of Women and Men, over 1700 towns and regions have committed to achieving fairer societies. But just as the headlines remind us, a long road lies ahead to achieve societies in which all citizens, regardless of gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age or disability, are truly equal.” 

In this regard, Frédéric Vallier highlighted the goal of the conference: “With this conference we want to ensure that human rights are at the core of local policies in line with the Sustainable Development Goals. The world is changing. Let's make this change worth it for our citizens”.

The Mayor of Bilbao, Juan Mari Aburto, explained that holding the event in Bilbao was “an opportunity to continue positioning ourselves internationally as the solidarity-based, cohesive, committed and open city that we are and which we increasingly aspire to be. Differences enrich us, make us better, stronger. It is important to be committed to diversity and manage it. Not only at institutional level and in civil society, but also in the business world. The most diverse companies, socially responsible companies are also the most competitive and those that generate greater value”.

Mr. Aburto also stressed that “equality, diversity and inclusion are essential values for European municipalities and regions to create together a better and fairer, more inclusive and human Europe. This is just what we want in Bilbao: to continue developing the necessary values and instruments to help to build a better society."

Talking on behalf of Basque municipalities, the President of EUDEL and Mayor of Getxo, Imanol Landa, pointed out that "the 2018 Bilbao Conference will be an opportunity for European municipalities to share our experiences and best practices, and we can extract innovative ideas to set together the course for the equality, inclusion and diversity policies, with common criteria throughout Europe”. 

Mr. Landa also highlighted the important role of the association of municipalities in that regard “as key players to facilitate the network and to search for joint solutions between municipalities, which from their diverse local reality, share the goal of advancing the wellbeing and the quality of life of all citizens".

The three co-organisers aim to organise an inspiring and informative international conference that brings together a heterogeneous and broad representation of European municipalities.

To date, more than 500 participants from over 40 European countries and other parts of the world have registered: from regional and local elected representatives, to European and national representatives, as well as people from academia and civil society working in the areas covered by the conference.

Municipalities and regions have the capacity to generate and host the transformation of the social processes. They are at the heart of the behavioural, social and demographic changes and are emerging, now more than ever, as spaces to drive creativity and opportunity. 

The conference will showcase the actions that local governments are implementing in the fields of equality, inclusion and diversity, and how they can be “cross-linked” to contribute to well-being and quality of life for everyone.
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