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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 00-05-14

Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

May 14 , 2000


  • [01] Girls go to work... so that women can play their part
  • [02] Miss Universe makes it beauty double for India
  • [03] Universal success, says Rolandis
  • [04] Clerides out of clinic on Tuesday, say doctors
  • [05] Wlosowicz is UNís new man

  • [01] Girls go to work... so that women can play their part

    By Melina Demetriou

    A PROJECT which aims to help girls be treated as equals with boys, so that one day Cyprus could have more women in Parliament and in decision-making generally, is under way on the island.

    Olga Demetriades, wife of Lellos, Mayor of Nicosia, who heads the project in Cyprus, said: "Our efforts focus on helping young girls act and be treated equally to boys in society, developing assertiveness and self- confidence. Girls must believe that as women they can actually contribute in society, at work and in public and political life as well as men."

    "This way we will have more women in Parliament, in decision-making centres and vital posts in the work-field. To try and promote this idea in the patriarchal Cypriot society, we followed the example of the American Ms Foundation for Women which started the Take Our Daughters to Work Day scheme ten years ago."

    Last Thursday, in a pilot scheme, 300 girls between 12 and 15 years old joined their parents or relatives at work, where they were assigned projects and later assessed. The event was initiated by AMADE, a branch of a voluntary non-governmental organisation, the Association of the Friends of the Child, which is based in Monte Carlo.

    Three hundred students from Pallouriotissa, Dianellou and Theodotou and Faneromenis secondary schools as well as from the English School, Falcon and Highgate schools worked for a day in the private sector, at banks, in Government offices, the semi-public sector and the UN headquarters. Some girls worked at executives' offices and some at the Nicosia Municipality.

    Charis Charalambous, 15, a student at Dianellou and Theodotou school, liked the work at her mother's hairdressing salon. Her mother said: "It is a good opportunity for children to get to know their parent's work."

    The pilot scheme was approved by the Ministry of Education and AMADE looks forward to the establishment of it as an annual event, says Demetriades. "Girls at 11 should be the ones to join in because they are more eager to do so, in contrast to 15-year-old girls who, in their majority, know in advance what they want to do after high school.

    "Once girls have joined the Take Our Daughters to Work Day scheme, they will have a lot of years to make a final decision on which profession they want to follow. And if one girl, letís say, wants to become a teacher and she has no one in her family who is a teacher, she can go to a school with a mentor, someone from AMADE or a friend of her family who is keen to help."

    Girls taking part in the project write assessments and fill in questionnaires to hand to their schoolís head teacher, pointing out what they liked and did not like in the working environment, outlining what they had to do and discussing their experiences.

    In 1999, a Roper Starch Poll showed young adults believed that girls in America perceived a wider range of career options now than they did a decade ago. The Take Our Daughters to Work website suggests the pollís findings prove the scheme is working.

    "The way we are going about things in Cyprus, I see no future for women in political and public life unless we set a far-sighted target. If we involve more associations and organisations, governmental and non-governmental, in this project we might make a change in ten yearsí time," said Demetriades.

    "If banks and big organisations contribute in this annual campaign we will eventually have more women in Parliament elected on their own merits, because they will believe in their strengths and will vote for each other," she added.

    There is already a volunteer from the Hellenic Bank who is trying to get employees' daughters to the bank for next year's Take Our Daughters to Work Day.

    The US website says that more than two million children a year join the event internationally. "My great concern is not whether men will appreciate women's work but whether women believe in themselves and vote for women. The way things are, women do not vote for women. But the truth is we women are equal, rivals to men at everything," Demetriades said.

    She believes that women in Cyprus have been brought up in, and still live in, a patriarchal society and things cannot change overnight. "But women should take more initiative, try and participate in more important projects and, most importantly, work collectively and support each other.

    "Some just sit back and take life for granted. If more pressure groups work together and harder, also involving parents and teachers we could make a change," Demetriades said.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail 2000

    May 14 , 2000

    [02] Miss Universe makes it beauty double for India

    By Jennie Matthew

    MISS India, Lara Dutta, was crowned Miss Universe at 6am yesterday morning, as the fraught and glittery beauty pageant finally came to a close in the Eleftheria Stadium, Nicosia.

    Dutta, who is a 21-year-old economics graduate, takes up her title alongside compatriot Yukta Mookhey, Miss World 1999, making it a double for India in the planetís top two beauty contests.

    The new Miss Universe said she would work with medical charities, with emphasis on Aids education among women. "The majority of women in my country are illiterate and uneducated so we have to start there to educate them," she said. "That is what I will do with India and progress to the rest of the world."

    A crowd favourite from the pageantís opening, Miss India quickly catapulted to firm favourite after the top five delegates were announced just before 5am.

    Earlier, the top ten finalists, who had been chosen by judges at the preliminary pageant on May 7, were announced after the television screens relayed the pre-recorded opening routine, depicting the birth of Aphrodite.

    The lucky ten were India, Spain -- winner of the mediaís photogenic award last weekend -- Colombia, Zimbabwe, Estonia, Venezuela, South Africa, USA, Canada and France.

    The audience were then treated to the ten beauties modelling in their swimsuits. All except Miss Colombia opted, with maximum confidence, for the red bikini. Back-up came from the rest of the delegates, who strutted across the stage in formation in blue suits.

    As the scantily-clad girls struck their best attitudes, Elvis Crespo performed his hit single Suavamente to get everyone in the right frame of mind.

    Next up was the top tenís choice of evening gown, to the backdrop of Montel Jordan crooning Careless Whisper, accompanied by saxophonist Dave Koz. But it was Cypriot singer Anna Vissi who, on home ground, drew most applause with her English song On a Night Like This.

    After the evening gown parade, the top five winners were announced -and the disappointed delegates from Columbia, Zimbabwe, Estonia, South Africa and France crashed out.

    US comedian Sinbad then conducted a 60-second interview with each of the five finalists, before the top three were confirmed. The North American contingent departed, leaving Spain, Venezuela and India to answer the Miss Universe title question: "There are people here in Cyprus who are saying that the Miss Universe pageant is disrespectful to women. Prove them wrong."

    The question was a reference to the stadiumís parish church of Ayios Panteleimonos, where churchgoers staged a simultaneous, all-night vigil to protest against the "evil" nature of the event.

    Church members distributed fliers to drivers passing the stadium on Friday night, accusing the show of "shooting woman down to the bottomless pits of hell".

    Miss Indiaís winning answer was perfect for the "redefined" competition, which prides itself on promoting womenís intelligence. "Beauty pageants are a platform for women to forge ahead, to voice their choices and work side- by-side to men in all spheres," she announced.

    Minutes later she was crowned by Miss Universe 1999, Mpule Kwelagobe.

    Judges said they selected Miss India because of "the way she carried herself, her grace and presence".

    The show, held early yesterday morning to coincide with prime time television in the US, is broadcast to 125 countries. It incorporated filmed snippets from Lefkara, Limassol, Larnaca, Nicosia, Paphos and Ayia Napa. It was this global advertisement for the island that Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, Nicos Rolandis, championed in his support for the pageant.

    "For Cyprus it was really great, you know it looked really good. I think weíre going to get lots more tourists," said one girl in the audience afterwards.

    The Oscar de la Renta swimwear prize also went to Miss India. Miss Mexico, Leticia Murray, collected the Clairol Prize for "unique sense of hair style". The pageantís congeniality award went to Miss Aruba, Tamara Scaroni.

    First runner-up to the new Miss Universe was Miss Venezuela, Claudia Moreno. Second runner-up was Miss Spain, Helen Lindes.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    May 14 , 2000

    [03] Universal success, says Rolandis

    By Jennie Matthew

    NICOS Rolandis, Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, yesterday heralded the Miss Universe pageant as a universal success.

    Speaking to The Sunday Mail, he said "the pageantís objectives were fully achieved and I thought it was a great performance".

    His praise was matched by Miss Universe officials and a CBS spokesman. A representative from the joint-owned pageant proclaimed yesterday morningís Cyprus show as "the best ever in Miss Universeís 49-year history". In a unique marriage of mythology and the present, he said that Miss Universe 2000 showed that "Hollywood was moving outside the United States".

    Saturday morningís final was aired live to a billion people across the world. Another three billion are expected to watch recordings of the event across Europe and Aisa this weekend.

    Estimates claim that a total of 13,000 people attended the nine Miss Universe pageant events, held all over the island, the last of which was the Coronation Ball, held last night at the Cyprus Hilton, Nicosia. "In Cyprus this is a record," said Rolandis.

    It is understood that the CTO website totalled more than 10,000 hits from surfers all over the world between 6am local time and mid-afternoon.

    Asked to comment on the protests against the pageant, Rolandis said he did not want to add anything further. During the dress rehearsal on Friday night, a group of about 30 leftist socialist campaigners gathered outside the Eleftheria stadium complaining that the£4.5 million which the Cyprus Tourism Organisation spent on the event should have been channelled into education.

    Rolandis extended his congratulations and best wishes to Miss Universe 2000, Lara Dutta. He also thanked CBS and the Miss Universe organisation for "returning Cyprus to a land of beauty".

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    May 14 , 2000

    [04] Clerides out of clinic on Tuesday, say doctors

    PRESIDENT Glafcos Clerides is expected to leave Evangelistria Clinic in Nicosia on Tuesday, doctors said yesterday.

    Clerides underwent surgery last Friday to remove a polyp growth from his large intestine. Yesterday his doctors told reporters that the president would be leaving the clinic at 12.30pm on Tuesday.

    They said Clerides was in excellent shape and will probably be ready to travel to Geneva in June for the third round of proximity talks on the Cyprus problem. Tomorrow, Clerides will chair a Cabinet meeting to be held in the clinic.

    Meanwhile the health of former president George Vassiliou, who had a benign brain tumour removed earlier this week in London, is improving steadily and at a relatively fast pace.

    Vasiliou, who underwent surgery on Wednesday, has walked and is in good spirits, doctors said.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    May 14 , 2000

    [05] Wlosowicz is UNís new man

    FORMER Polish United Nations Representative Zbigniew Wlosowicz will be the new Acting UN Special Representative in Cyprus and Unficyp Chief of Mission when the term of the incumbent James Holger expires on May 31, the Cyprus News Agency said yesterday.

    Wlosowicz, 45, took up his post as Poland's UN envoy in February 1993, and was a member of the Security Council for one year. In the past two years he has served as a special adviser on inter-governmental affairs with the UN Development Programme.

    On Friday, UN spokesman Fred Eckhard said that UN Secretary-general Kofi Annan had asked his Special Advisor for Cyprus, Alvaro de Soto, to remain based at the UN headquarters in New York "in order to give priority to the good offices effort under way".

    De Soto is leading the UN-led proximity talks aimed at reaching a settlement in Cyprus. Two rounds of talks have been held so far while consultations for setting the date for the third round continue.

    The third round of talks had been scheduled initially for May 23 in New York but had to be postponed because President Glafcos Clerides underwent surgery earlier this month to remove a polyp from his intestine.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

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