2020 marks the 25th anniversary of the Beijing declaration, which is an agenda for female empowerment signed in 1995 by 189 states and is considered until today the key global policy document on gender equality. On EBU level, this June also marked the first anniversary of the Malmö declaration – a document drafted at last year’s GEAR (Gender Equality Awareness Raising) conference, which reminded the European Blind Union and its members of the importance of gender equality in all aspects of their work and which, together with the Cyprus declaration, led to important changes within EBU itself. After its successful conference on gender equality within organisations of the visually impaired, the GEAR consortium presented a resolution at the EBU general assembly in October 2019, asking, amongst other things, for a quota system in EBU’s board, a limitation of terms in office and for regular conferences on gender equality. The resolution was adopted and so it is now amongst all of us to take the necessary steps to bring to life what we have been advocating for.
The first step to gender equality is female empowerment, and this is why the GEAR project will continue this year with empowerment and training sessions for visually impaired women in three countries – Austria, Denmark and Slovenia – thus enabling the women in these countries to gain confidence and skills and to demand that their national and regional boards take gender equality just as seriously as the EBU board will from now on. For more information and background documents please visit http://www.euroblind.org/publications-and-resources/guidelines#_Women