DUSHANBE, March 6, 2014, Asia-Plus – On Wednesday March 5, the project, Rule of Law Platform – Central Asia, funded by the European Union (EU) held a “National Workshop on Support to the Justice Reform of Tajikistan” at the National Library of the Republic of Tajikistan in Dushanbe, in partnership with the Council of Justice, President’s Executive Office, and the Ministry of Justice of Tajikistan.

On this occasion, a memorandum of understanding was signed between Mrs. Pascale Mesnil, Honorary President of Chamber of the Commercial Court of Paris and Special Advisor to the European Union of Women, and Mrs. Qanoat Homidova and Ms. Zebuniso Sharifova, President and Executive Director of the League of Women-Lawyers of Tajikistan, granting the League the status of Observer to the European Union of Women.  This was the first step towards the creation of a full-fledged partnership between these two organizations defending the rights of women, especially in the areas of prevention of domestic violence and gender equality.  The Rule of Law Platform fully supports this process.

The partnership between the League of Women-Lawyers of the Republic of Tajikistan and the European Union of Women aims at building long-term relationships between institutions of the civil societies of the EU and Tajikistan.  It represents a concrete achievement sustaining the efforts of the Rule of Law Platform towards creating a European and Central Asian Network of Institutions in the area of rule of law and at fostering a public dialogue between State authorities and the civil society.

Mrs. Elisabeth Morin Chartier, Member of the European Parliament and President of the European Union of Women declared in anticipation of 8 March 2014: “Each year, International Women’s Day is an occasion to take stock of the situation of women in the world.  Every time, the conclusion is pretty much the same: there is still a long way to go to reach true gender equality.  Everywhere in the world, women are still victims of violence and discrimination.”

A key element of the EU-Central Asia Strategy for a New Partnership, the “Rule of Law Initiative for Central Asia” project constitutes the overarching regional framework for enhanced cooperation in the rule of law area, aimed at supporting legal reforms in Central Asia and the sharing of EU experience.  Under the auspices of the Rule of Law Initiative, the Rule of Law Platform regional project acts as a support mechanism to facilitate policy dialogue and promote the measures contributing to legal reforms in each of the Central Asian countries.