Nowadays we often hear that this century is the "Woman’s Century." Moreover, the media display a certain type of woman, the dynamic one. The woman who has gained the knowledge and participation rates in universities exceed those of men; the woman who could be transcended prime minister, high court judge businessman; the woman who can be a creator in arts . But how this alleged new reality yields the truth regarding the position of woman in today's Western societies?
No one denies this reality. But when saying "woman", we should bear in mind that we do not refer to all of them as a whole. Women differ in terms of age, education, socioeconomic status, related on whether they live in large urban centres or in the district. By these criteria, the majority of women have even today (1) lower socio-economic level, (2) lack of social and cultural capital, (3) lack of professional training, (4) less competitive mood.
Since 2010 onwards, through the economic crisis, the progress, which was conducted in the field of gender equality at work, family, and generally, in all fields of social life, was interrupted. The global economy moves in the rhythm of successive crises: financial crisis, economic crisis and now we have got into a social crisis which is a factor that should not be underestimated by the European governments.
The crisis of gender equality and women's rights is compounded by the so-called austerity measures that are being imposed on EU Member States. The crisis has particularly serious consequences for people who are in a precarious position, especially for women, who are most directly affected - due to the loss of their jobs, cuts in their income, or loss of their job safety - and indirectly, due to cuts on public services and social welfare.
While women have been affected even before the crisis more than men by unemployment, precarious employment and low salaries, they are now affected also by the impact of the measures taken by governments that reduce public deficits which render a factor of adjustment for the crisis. Under these conditions, the current crisis is not only economic and financial but also a crisis of democracy, equality, social welfare and gender equality.
The economic crisis might be an additional obstacle for women who seek to get into politics, as affected their income and priority is their survival. At the same time, obstacles, as demonstrated from History, have a catalyst effect. The common feeling of dissatisfaction coils and organizes people for being protected. In this sense, the crisis may be a cause of women’s desire for empowerment aiming to get involved with politics. Besides, the current terms of the crisis predicate political awakening of all citizens, this applies as well to women whose their actions in public affairs-even informally- was a factor of reinforcement of the social cohesion.
First of all the political consciousness of women should be strengthened so that they will be encouraged to get actively involved in politics. This is a challenge that applies in education, schools, attitudes and reason of politicians, from which the vast majority are men, and the active support of the political parties. Nevertheless, the bigger participation of women in politics is a complicated issue, as it touches lasting perceptions of the society regarding the potential of women’s career development and in a consolidated picture of the woman politician, which is not easily reversed.
If not implemented procedures adopt in the needs of women, in order to encourage their participation in social and political life of society, they will continue to be exempted from the ongoing happenings of public space, thereby perpetuating their marginalization. The increased representation of the female gender, at the places where decided and formulated policies and services could assist on listening the expectations of women and therefore to be respected by the principles of the society. At the same time women can act as catalysts in the process of changing and improving existing living conditions.
POGO (Pancyprian Federation of Women's Organisations), from the time of its foundation, preaches loyalty to the ideals of equality of gender, social justice and equality. It develops action for the education of women, but also more broadly in Cypriot society, in the spirit of these principles. The aims of the Movement, through various actions is the enlightenment, the awakening and mobilization of women, and more broadly of the Cypriot society as regards to gender parity, and other social issues of the time such as the struggle for the salvation of the environment, the fight against drugs, combating racial discrimination, defending children's rights, and dealing with poverty which plagues the Cypriot society after the outbreak of economic crisis.
Alongside POGO leverages its international relations, particularly through the World Federation of Democratic Women for the internationalization of the Cyprus problem as a problem of invasion and occupation seeking and gaining the solidarity of the international democratic women's movement in the case of our people for a free, independent and demilitarized Cyprus.
The women's movement of POGO, which from its inception had on its lines _ hundreds of Turkish Cypriot women, develops activities aiming to strengthen the relations with the progressive Turkish Cypriot women's Organizations and their joint contribution to a political settlement and the reunification of the Cypriot people.
The role to be played by the Women's Movement of POGO in recent years in regards to the position of woman in Cypriot society and the political landscape of Cyprus embraces several meanings, since it is one of the most historical, and most massive militant women's organizations in the island, with positions and actions that are embraced widely within the people and especially the women of Cyprus.
Continuing the multifaceted action, we aim at creating a website through which will be promoted issues concerning women, involving women regardless of age or nationality, in matters related to Cypriot political life through information, education and action of Greek and Turkish Cypriot women.
Firstly, we have to mention that the website will be available in Greek, Turkish and English languages, thus giving the opportunity to all internet users to visit it, but much more to the more directly involved Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot women.
The website will include:
1. News from all over the world on issues related to women.
2. Teleconferences - lectures, seminars, interviews, discussions, regarding woman, what she can offer and how she could get involved in Cypriot politics and how she could help to a solution of the Cyprus problem.
The lectures - seminars will be held within a 12 topics concept and will be held in a weekly basis. Seizing the opportunity of the lectures – seminars, will be held as well thematic discussions through a blog site. Also one day per week will be invited on our website an expert scientist, either man or woman, with whom we shall discuss women issues.
3. Events - Projects in various areas of Cyprus with transmission opportunity through our website with live streaming.
4. Promoting POGO’s actions.
At an initial stage of almost two months we will hold promotional campaign and dissemination of our website using television and radio spots, printed posters and events throughout Cyprus (occupied and free territories). It will also create a) a Facebook page and b) an account on Twitter, so that will become easier the broad promotion of our website via internet.
With the activation of the website, each user / visitor will be able to share issues, articles or discussions, videos that have been posted at the website of various digital social media such as Facebook and Twitter.
Finally, through this innovative action, we aim at bringing women closer to technology, letting them updated, discussing on issues of their concern, uniting their voice through internet and making them able to be heard more loudly and decisively in the Cypriot society for solving our national problem and other socio - economic issues of our concern.