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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-06-14

Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Skoda Rally ends today
  • [02] Experts to report on gender matters in Cyprus

  • 1150:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Skoda Rally ends today

    Nicosia, Jun 14 (CNA) -- The stage was set today for a duel in the sun in the climax of the Skoda Tour of Cyprus Rally with Christakis Thoma battling to hold onto a minute nineteen seconds lead over his rival Andreas Tsouloftas.

    Thoma, at the wheel of a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IV, took an early lead in yesterday's special stages and held it throughout the day as the field roared around the mountain bends on the Mediterranean island.

    He surprised Tsouloftas, driving a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution III, who last month finished second in the Jordan Rally and is currently in fifth place in the eighth round FIA Middle East Rally Championship of which the Skoda Tour of Cyprus forms part for the first time this year.

    A field of fifty started the rally yesterday morning in Nicosia and with half the special stages completed just twenty eight were left to start out today from their rest stop at the capital's Holiday Inn.

    The two-day event, which covers 763 kilometres, including sixteen special stages totalling 259 kilometres, ends tonight in the moat beneath the Nicosia Venetian walls.

    CNA MCH/KN/1998

    [02] Experts to report on gender matters in Cyprus

    by Myria Antoniadou

    Nicosia, Jun 14 (CNA) -- Two Commonwealth experts are preparing a report on ways the government and the public sector in Cyprus can become more aware of their role in mainstreaming gender.

    Dr. Rawwida Baksh-Sooden and Audrey Ingram Roberts, who were recently in Cyprus, believe the government is interested in equality and will suggest the training of civil servants so that they become more familiar with gender issues.

    They will also propose strengthening the national machinery for Women secretariat, setting up an inter-ministerial committee and promoting government cooperation with institutions such as the Cyprus University.

    "Our idea is to put more into the government scale for an understanding of what mainstreaming is and what it needs to do, its responsibility and the arrangements it needs to ensure the commitment it must make through the system we will propose," Roberts told CNA in an interview at the end of their visit.

    The Commonwealth consultant noted that civil society in Cyprus has the necessary "energy" regarding women's advancement, but said this must be "related and integrated to government, that must understand this is a critical relation to build".

    She said one of their suggestions will be the establishment of "an inter-ministerial committee, made up of people at a more senior level, to provide a kind of Gender Management System (GMS)".

    The Commonwealth Secretariat has developed a GMS which aims at establishing a set of structures and mechanisms in order to mainstream gender.

    Dr. Baksh-Sooden, of the Commonwealth Secretariat Gender and Youth Affairs, told CNA that while here they "assessed the impact of what the government has been doing, to help it create policies that are more gender sensitive, that will actually enhance the promotion of gender equality".

    Stressing the role of the government in building political commitment, she said training is also important because "you can't bring all these people together who don't know much about gender equality, particularly within their own sectors".

    "There will have to be training with a gender focal point, training of the management team and this is what we are hoping will be built in Cyprus through agencies like the University and the Academy for Public Administration," Bash-Sooden added.

    Both experts underlined the Cyprus University's interest in women's equality, as it is already doing research in related fields, and said the Commonwealth could provide some technical assistance.

    They noted that the University has the capacity to do research and analysis that could be introduced into government planning.

    Roberts pointed to the rigidity of the civil service and the problem of managing change, at the same time noting that problems must be solved across the border, through a dialogue.

    The two women stressed that the ministries' roles are interrelated and cited education as an example, noting that what women decide to study (Education Ministry) also affects their job prospects (Labour Ministry).

    Asked about the response they had during their meetings, Roberts said "the interest is undoubtedly there on the part of all officials".

    However, she said that what was striking was that within the government service "you have to proceed in a very elementary way", with training in terms like gender and curriculum development.

    Roberts said that Cyprus must also take into consideration its European Union accession prospect and deal with women gender issues that will come up.

    Referring to the National Machinery for Women, Roberts said it's central to the whole process and must continue to play the role it had until today, but stressed "the actual secretariat itself will need to be strengthened".

    The NMW comprises women's organisations and political party women's sections and is presided by the Minister of Justice.

    The two Commonwealth experts were in Cyprus for a week, at the invitation of the Justice and Public Order Ministry. Their schedule included meetings with ministers, women deputies and University representatives.

    Their report is expected to be ready in a few weeks time and will take into consideration the realities in Cyprus.

    CNA MA/MM/1998
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