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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-05-30

Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] G/C and T/C architects to meet
  • [02] Cyprus to sign agreement with Czech Republic
  • [03] Cancer: Number two killer in Cyprus
  • [04] Action plan for more women in politics underway

  • 1115:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] G/C and T/C architects to meet

    Nicosia, May 30 (CNA) -- Around 200 Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot architects will meet tonight at the Ledra Palace hotel in the UN-controlled buffer zone in Nicosia, to present a book depicting traditional Cyprus houses from both sides of the divide.

    The book is the culmination of four years of a bicommunal project by a team of Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot architects.

    The Greek Cypriots worked on houses in the free areas of the Republic, while the Turkish Cypriots examined houses in the occupied areas.

    Entitled, "Twelve Traditional Cyprus Houses", the book will be presented at a gathering which is under the auspices of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Cyprus.

    The gathering will be addressed by the Chief of Mission of the UNHCR Cyprus, Michael Menning, and US ambassador to Cyprus Kenneth Brill.

    Margarita Danou and Hasan Yucel will speak on behalf of the architects while a presentation of the book will be made by Nicos Mesaritis and Yucern Eronen from the organising committee.

    The gathering will end with folk dancing by Greek and Turkish Cypriot groups.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of the island.

    CNA EC/GP/1997

    [02] Cyprus to sign agreement with Czech Republic

    Nicosia, May 30 (CNA) -- Cyprus and the Czech Republic will sign cooperation agreements in the fields of agriculture and husbandry.

    The agreements will be signed on behalf of Cyprus by Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Costas Petrides, who will pay an official visit to the Czech Republic between June 4-8.

    Petrides' visit follows an invitation from his Czech counterpart, Josef Lux.

    CNA GG/GP/1997

    [03] Cancer: Number two killer in Cyprus

    Nicosia, May 30 (CNA) -- Cancer is the second most common cause of death in Cyprus, following that of cardiovascular disease, Cyprus' Health Minister Christos Solomis told an international conference on comprehensive care titled "Focus on cancer pain".

    He said 1600 new cases are registered every year, which give an incidence of 220 cases per 100.000 population.

    "In males the most common forms are cancers of the large bowel, the urinary bladder and the lung and in females those of the breast, the cervix, uterus and the large bowel", said the Minister.

    The fight against cancer must be given a high priority on every country's health agenda, said Solomis, due to the fact that nine million people are already affected and five million die annually, worldwide, because of cancer.

    "What is needed, is to activate our accumulated knowledge right now", he said.

    Speaking on the various forms of cancer in Cyprus, the Minister said these forms "are closely related with the lifestyles of the Cypriots, mainly their smoking habits, their incorrect nutrition and extensive exposure to the sun".

    According to Solomis, the National Cancer Control Committee has created a programme giving particular emphasis on the priority areas, focusing on legislative action, public information programmes and educational programmes for health professionals.

    He said the treatment offered to cancer patients is considered to be of a high standard and all fields of clinical oncology, in general, are well developed and quite satisfactory.

    It is expected that with the completion of the contractual works and functioning of the new oncology centre, where diagnostic and therapeutic services will be offered, clinical services will be further improved, the Cypriot Minister concluded.

    CNA AZK/GP/1997

    [04] Action plan for more women in politics underway

    By Myria Antoniadou

    Nicosia, May 30 (CNA) -- The Justice and Public Order Ministry is preparing an action plan to get more women involved in politics, four years ahead of the next parliamentary elections, acknowledging that practical measures have to be taken if the present situation in Cyprus is to change.

    The action plan will be based upon suggestions by Commonwealth expert Lesley Abdela, who recently visited the island collecting information through meetings with political parties and their women's sections, women MP's and candidates in the 1996 parliamentary elections.

    In an interview with CNA, Abdela stressed that everyone she met in Cyprus was "intrigued" with the idea of an action plan to encourage more women to enter politics, as the 1996 results, when only three women were elected MP's, are not satisfactory.

    "I was very impressed because both men and women are now puzzling how to do it, they weren't even questioning why, they've gone past that," she added.

    She believes Cyprus does have women interested, but, replying to questions she noted the extra difficulties faced by women living in countries with military problems and situations.

    "When you've had a military situation, as you have, you tend to have the 'camaraderie' of the soldiers or people who participated in the liberation movement, making it difficult for women to break into politics," she said.

    Abdela also pointed out that through her experience in other countries with similar problems, such as Israel, people tend to believe "we need strong political leaders to understand the military tactics". However, she described this is a "psychological view" of what a political leader is, which could change by making people aware of women's historical role.

    She stressed that even the Cyprus problem cannot be solved without women's participation in the mediation process, and brought South Africa as an example, where women participated by a minimum of 25 percent in committee's set up to dismantle apartheid. "There is a completely different dynamic when men and women work together," she said.

    Abdela added that the UN, governments and other official bodies "are now realising that if you're going to have a chance of solving the world's massive problems and dramatic changes then our future leaders have to be chosen from the widest post of talent, as you must have the broadest view of looking and solving these issues."

    She also pointed out that even the very nature of war has shifted in this century, from being a conflict between men on the battlefields to the involvement of more civilians. "Today about 80 percent of persons wounded or killed are civilians," she noted.

    "Sometimes men think we're talking about replacing them, but we're not talking about excluding men, we're talking about including women, broadening the type of leaders and creating a partnership, just as the European Union (EU) is a partnership between countries," she said.

    Abdela, also working on an EU project to get women in nine eastern and central European countries more involved in politics, believes "the biggest revolution in the 21st Century is women coming into decision-making in public life."

    Taking into account her 20-year experience of campaigning for the participation of more women in politics, Abdela stresses the need to have more than 25 percent of women in key party positions and parliament.

    She said this is the only way to make women feel they can be themselves, stop being a minority and move issues that affect them, such as equal pay and domestic violence, up on the agenda. Abdela also supports that an increase in the number of women MP's broadens the perspective in the existing agenda, including the dimension of over 50 percent of the population.

    To stress her point she said that the tax cuts considered by many governments may be good news for men, who tend to be the higher wage earners, but will entail cutting services that women use and need more, like childcare and public transport.

    At the same time, she believes women will "bring the extra talent and ability into politics, and a new, fresh approach," because their experiences and way of looking and doing things are different.

    Abdela was invited to Cyprus by both the Ministry of Justice and the Commonwealth, within its activity programme for assisting member states in various fields, including gender and democracy building.

    Maro Varnavides, in charge of women's affairs at the ministry said Cyprus asked for Commonwealth assistance "because we have done progress in other fields, but are not doing at all well in the participation of women in political life."

    She stressed the ministry "felt that the training of women interested in getting into politics might be a more practical measure to bring about changes."

    Abdela, of Greek origin through her great-grandfather, points out she is familiar with the culture here, and said she will be working on recommendations.

    Her recommendations, partly funded by the Commonwealth, will include training workshops for journalists, budding women politicians and women community leaders, and practical activities such as getting parties to make their own study as to women's participation in all levels.

    "We provide the basic tools to help develop their skills, knowledge and understanding of the system, but then it's up to the parties to develop their own action plans, taking the local culture into consideration," she said.

    Even though Abdela believes governments, political parties and international organisations are not yet putting enough effort into changing the present situation, she stressed they are realising that getting more women involved in politics is a project they can achieve, for a little cost.

    CNA MA/GP/1997

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