Sixth Asia-Pacific Congress of Women in Politics
February 10-12, 2006
Dr. Jung Sook Kim
It is my great pleasure and honor to welcome all of you
thto the 6 CAPWIP Congress this morning and thank you very much for you’re participating in our congress.
Since the 1995 Beijing World Conference on Women, many countries have been formulating systems and enacting laws to help women become more active participants in their societies. Some countries have made a positive contribution by giving women preferential treatment in the fields where women were “behind’ to make the best use of women’s power.
However, despite some noticeable progress in recent years, women’s political participation remains still very low including in the Asia-Pacific region.
We, today, Asian-Pacific Women gather here to rectify this situation, to work together with great diligence, to identify the impediments against women’s potential participation and to consider strategies to remove them once and for all .
As I reflect and look back, the Center for Asia-Pacific Women in Politics (CAPWIP), like a candle in the night,
has been playing a critically important role in promoting women’s political rights since it was founded in 1992.
With a dream to promote leaders who had a
transformative agenda…. Willing to make a difference because they are women in politics understand what women, men they serve, truly need.
CAPWIP has held the global Biannual regional
congresses, workshops and training programs.
We, CAPWIP have also established Common and
individual strategies for expanding women’s political participation networking with other women’s
organizations for political empowerment.
Last night, I was with a few of you, having dinner. We got to talking about how our world has changed. We got to discuss about the girls in Nepal and India – and about
how they are being brought into prostitution thru trafficking at such a tender and early age. Poverty was cited the biggest reason for this.
Today, we start another milestone. We are gathered here, as we have done so ten years ago, at the Dusit Hotel, to draft a 10 year platform for Action for Women in Politics and Decision-Making for the Asia-Pacific Region.
It was during the First Asia Pacific Congress of Women in Politics that the word “Transformative Politics” was coined. It was described, defined, and characterized. For the last ten years, CAPWIP carried the advocacy for this type of politics to be promoted, until it became a
common concept which defined what kind of politics women should promote.
In our last CAPWIP Board of Trustees and Membership meeting, it was agreed that in the next decade of CAPWIP, what we would like to promote is the concept of “Building Transformative Communities.”
We realized, now after 10 years, after ten years that it is not enough to be a transformative politician. In fact, it is not possible to transform a society by simply being alone as a transformative politician. What we need is a whole community that is transformed.
What is needed is (for NGO’s like us, Civil society groups, community organizations, and all the others who share this same transformative vision) to band together.
We must define a common agenda for development, choose leaders from among the community willing and capable of carrying out the agreed agenda for
development. We must then help them win in the elections. After winning, we must help them in the implementation of this development agenda, and finally hold them accountable to the community for their actions.
In our last conference two years ago, we agreed that we will devote our programs to building a successor generation that appreciates the value of building transformative communities.
It is no less than claiming back the right to governance as our right… in fact, our very birthright.
Our friend, the Chair of UN CEDAW, Ambassador Rosario G. Manalo, will tell us that we should claim this right… as citizens of our countries, as community members.
To you, our partners in behalf of the CAPWIP Board of Trustees, we thank you for coming to this congress. Let us band together and learn, in the next three days, what we should include in this agenda. Let us not forget to devote a lot of space and time for developing the successor generation…. Our young.
As the saying goes: “As we advance and develop as women leaders, let us not take the ladder with us.”
We are happy to say that the papers that will be presented here at this Congress are all voluntarily given by those who have something to share. This congress is a community effort. And it is through this community effort that we can help people such as the girls in Nepal and India I mentioned earlier, who were driven to prostitution because of poverty, and ultimately because of bad governance.
Let us therefore listen with our hearts open, let us feel the experiences and the feelings that will be poured out as sharings and reflections.
From the lessons learned, let us draft the ten year Platform for Action for Women In Politics and Decision-Making. Above all, let us be guided by the concept that the only way we can build transformative communities is
by claiming back our right to governance not only as citizens, but even more importantly as a community.
Friends, welcome again to the Sixth Asia-Pacific Congress of Women in Politics and Decision-Making.