The Levant, a space of dialogue based on understanding the Other. Equality of opportunity between women and men: a contemporary value

5th of November 2019

The symposium on Equality of Opportunity between Women and Men: a Contemporary Value, organised by the Romanian-PanArab European Cultural Centre (CCERPA) in collaboration with the Embassy of the Tunisian Republic to Bucharest and the Institute for Advanced Studies in Levant Culture and Civilization was held on the 5th of November 2019.

The guests to the event, distinguished political and cultural personalities such as Her Excellency, Raja JHINAOIUBEN ALI, Ambassador of the Tunisian Republic to Bucharest; Dr Dirar KUTAINI, President of the European and Romanian Pan-Arab European Cultural Centre (CCERPA); Professor Ahmed HARATTI, Vice-President of CCERPA; Hélène ROOS, Director of the French Institute in Bucharest; Mr. Mohamed KETATA, Regional Director of the Bureau for Central and Eastern Europe of the Francophone Higher Education Agency; Mr. Asztalos CSABA, President of the National Council Combatting Discrimination; Ms. Grațiela DRĂGHICI, Secretary of State at the National Agency for Equality of Opportunity between Women and Men; Ms. Claudia NICOLAE, General Director of AGERPRES; Dr Raluca STĂNESCU, psychologist at the Municipality of Bucharest’s General Office for Social Welfare; and the Rev. Dr Valentin ILIE, from the Patriarch Justinian Faculty of Orthodox Theology, University of Bucharest, took a multidisciplinary approach . They evidenced a particularly important theme for modern society, which seeks to enshrine equality of opportunity as a continuous reality, and a fundamental element of a perpetually-evolving society, both in Europe and in the Arab world.

Her Excellency the Ambassador of Tunisia to Bucharest, Raja JHINAOUBEN ALI, presented a series of legislative and societal efforts for the emancipation of women and the safeguarding of their rights, both in Tunisia and across the Arab world at large. What’s more, these efforts were the underlying reason for Tunis’ designation as the World Capital of Inter-Gender Equality of Opportunity in 2019. Ms Hélène ROOS, Director of the French Institute in Bucharest and Mr. Mohamed KETATA, Regional Director of the Central and Eastern Europe Bureau of the Francophone Higher Education Agency presented the status quo regarding equality of opportunity in France and in the Francophone sphere. In turn, Romanian officials described the situation in our country, evoking a paradox: though Romania ranks first among European Union countries regarding wage parity between men and women, it also sits within the top 3 in Europe for domestic violence, people smuggling and prostitution.

Beyond the legislative and institutional aspects in Europe and the Arab world, the roles of the media, of the Church, of academia and of psychology in shaping mentalities and promoting equality of opportunity in Romania were also highlighted.

The event is part of a broader series of conferences dedicated to a multidisciplinary approach to the Levantine space as a space of dialogue based on the understanding of the Other.

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