WOMEN need to be empowered with the rights to education, health, economic as well as decision making in tackling environmental issues, the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports said.
In his statement at the inaugural ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Women (AMMW) held in Laos on Friday, Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Seri Setia Hj Hazair Hj Abdullah addressed the key roles played by women in ensuring environmental sustainability.
He noted that the roles and participation of women in the economic, social, political and environmental arena has contributed positively to the prosperity of respective nations.
"It is observed that when women have the opportunity to fully participate in society, the end result would be a stronger community that would benefit a lot of people," he said, adding that women remain the missing piece in solving the puzzles in many global crisis.
He pointed out that environmental problems, such as pollution or diseases, persistent as well as new threats to women's health that are detrimental to their livelihood and well-being.
According to the minister, women's extensive experiences in local ecological resources make them invaluable partners on environmental management and contributing to the solution of the crisis, which is in view of the multiple roles held by women as mothers, workers, caregivers and educators.
"By acknowledging and acting on the...linkages between gender equity and sustainable development, we can create a society that maintains and regenerates the environment," he said.
YB Pehin Dato Hj Hazair also noted in his statement that Brunei's Vision 2035 has identified among others, the need to ensure the proper conservation, protection and mitigation of the environment as well as to include women in all aspects of national development, including environmental issues.
He believes that women in Brunei can promote the ethics of sustainable and healthy living while integrating environmental protection and preservation with development.
"Whilst recognising the inclusive rights and roles of women in achieving our Vision 2035 and conservation of the environment, the establishment of the Special Committee on Family Institution and Women Issues serves as a catalyst to enhance the participation of women," he said.
In environmental health, Brunei has strengthened policies and programmes through the empowerment of women, such as the nationwide establishment of Maternal and Child Health Clinics.
Furthermore, the Council of Women of Brunei Darussalam (CWBD) and other women's associations continue to advocate and initiate programmes to protect the environment, such as healthy lifestyle campaigns.
The minister concluded that Brunei viewed the AMMW as a "unique platform" to discuss and share good practices on the meeting's theme of "Enhancing Gender Perspective and ASEAN Women's Partnership for Environmental Sustainability".
With the adoption of the Vientiane Declaration, he is confident that it will further strengthen the vital roles of women towards enhancing their contribution to the dynamic, economic and social development of the region as well realising the ASEAN Community 2015.
According to a press statement, the AMMW was formed at the approval of ASEAN leaders during the 19th ASEAN Summit held in Bali, Indonesia last year. The next AMMW will be hosted by the Philippines in 2015.
The Brunei Times
Sunday, October 21, 2012
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