KIGALI, Oct. 12 (Xinhua) -- Female Members of Parliament under the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) vowed to prioritize the empowerment of girls in societies.
"We have a responsibility to ensure that the empowerment of girls is a top priority and that their basic rights are protected and fulfilled to ensure the gender-equal future of our societies," said Esperance Nyirasafari, president of the Forum of Women Parliamentarians.
As female leaders we must lead by example and act as an inspiration for women and girls across the world, Nyirasafari, who also serves as the vice president of the Rwandan Senate, said, during the Forum of Women Parliamentarians, a sideline event of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) assembly which kicked off in Rwanda's capital Kigali on Tuesday.
Addressing the forum, Duarte Pacheco, the IPU president said that now more than ever there is a need to use parliament's leadership to take impactful action to fulfill the rights of women and girls.
"There are 600 million adolescent girls who face unique challenges and they deserve diverse voices and ears. We must make our institutions meaningful and safe for women today so that future generations of girls have access to political participation," he said.
"We need to make a difference as Members of Parliament, we have power in our hands. Let us move political commitments to the next level by prioritizing gender equality in our work by setting 50-50 as the target of equal participation in our parliaments, and ensuring zero tolerance to violence against women," he added.
The forum discussed sexism, discrimination against women, harassment, and violence against women in parliament as well as ending human trafficking and human rights violations.
The IPU's 145th assembly running until Oct. 15 is being held under the theme "Gender equality and gender-sensitive parliaments as drivers of change for a more resilient and peaceful world." ■