Cyprus Women’s Lobby campaigns for more gender equality


The Cyprus Women’s Lobby, an umbrella of 16 women’s organizations and NGOs, has presented the country’s two presidential candidates with a list of 16 commitments to improve gender equality on the Mediterranean island.

The list was handed to incumbent President Nicos Anastasiades and his rival in Sunday’s runoff Stavros Malas by members of the lobby, in a country where gender equality is a relatively recent addition to the political agenda and women still get paid 15.6 percent less than men on average in the private sector, according to a 2016 European Commission report.

Cyprus has already made strides in this area, though activists on the ground say more is needed.

According to CWL chief Maria Epameinonda, that the new president will have a “duty to generate essential change in regards to the equality of women and men.”

“Mostly due to Cyprus’s harmonization with the aquis communitaire, an impressive number of legislative measures relating to gender equality have been passed in the last decade, covering the areas of equal treatment in employment, equal pay, maternity protection, parental leave, violence in the family, and more,” the European Institute for Equality writes in its country overview for Cyprus.

“Overall, the transposition of directives on the gender-equality acquis into Cyprus’s national laws has been satisfactorily completed, and these laws have begun to have a positive effect on the lives of working people,” it says.