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European section of United Cities and Local Governments

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Equality of women and men in local life

Bilbao 2018 - 17.05.2018

Living together in diversity: Bilbao session focus
On 17 May 1990, the World Health Organization (WHO) removed homosexuality from their list of mental disorders. Nowadays, 17 May is the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, #IDAHOTB. However, there is still a long way to go to make our towns and regions truly LGBT+ friendly. That’s why we’re dedicating a session to “living together in diversity” at our conference on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, taking place in Bilbao from 11 to 13 June.

Eleanor Roosevelt explained that universal human rights begin in “small places, close to home – so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. Yet they are the world of the individual person; the neighbourhood he lives in; the school or college he attends; the factory, arm or office where he works. (...) Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere”. As employers and service providers, local and regional governments are the ones in charge of making these rights a reality for each one of us, young, old, woman, man, heterosexual, lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans-and inter-gender, catholic, atheist, muslim, black or white, whoever we are and whatever our abilities may be.

This session, taking place at 3 pm on 12 June, is intended to inform and give examples of how a local or regional government can move things forward. But beyond all of this, the goal is to share. Share inspiration, political courage and  aspirations, so that universal human rights mean something in every neighbourhood, school, university, factory, farm or office.

Who will be there?
  • Harald Furre, Mayor of Kristiansand, “Change-friendly city”
  • Martin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, “Aspirations-friendly city” (TBC)
  • Lydia Dietrich, Munich City Councillor, “LGBT-friendly city”
  • Iñigo Pombo, Bilbao City Councillor, “Age and child-friendly City”
  • Gunta Anca, Executive Secretary and Board member of the European Disability Forum, Chair of the Latvian Umbrella Body for Disability Organisations (Sustento), “Disability-friendly city”
  • Johanna Loukaskorpi, Deputy Mayor of Tampere, Welfare Services: “Promoting Rainbow Rights and Equality”(TBC)
  • Johanna Laaja, Project Expert, Finnish Local and Regional Authorities (AFLRA), “Promoting Rainbow Rights and non-discrimination by the Finnish local authorities”

Good to know: interpretation will be provided in English, Spanish, Basque and German!

What about our other sessions? Stay tuned: we will be running a focus article on each session once a week until the conference. In the meanwhile, you can check out the detailed programme.

Join the discussion on twitter with the official conference hashtag #CEMRBilbao2018.
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