AFAEMME signs Cooperation Agreement with the Association of the Mediterranean Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASCAME)

  Mr. Murat Yalçintas, President of ASCAME and Mrs. Mª Helena de Felipe, President of AFAEMME.  

Mrs. Najoua Attia, President Chamber of Commerce an Industry President of AFAEMME.

On November 12th AFAEMME signed a cooperation agreement with ASCAME in the framework of the organisation’s XIX General Assembly and the celebration of its 25th Anniversary, events which took place in the Chamber of Commerce of Barcelona.

The agreement, which was signed by Mrs. Mª Helena de Felipe, President of AFAEMME and MR. Murat Yalçintas, President of ASCAME, ensures a platform from which both organisations will be able to develop projects of common interest. The ASCAME believes that economic growth in the Mediterranean region will contribute to creating an area of peace, tolerance, security and prosperity and in the words of Mr. Yalçintas their goal is "…commerce for peace; commerce for mutual understanding; commerce for cooperation between civilisations".

ASCAME's General Assembly was chaired by H.R.H. Felipe de Borbón and H.R.H. Leticia Ortiz, Prince and Princess of Asturias and Girona and the President of Generalitat of Catalonia, Mrs. José Montilla.

AFAEMME takes Part in ASCAME's Women Entrepreneurs Commission

Members of ASCAME’s Women Entrepreneurs Commission

AFAEMME, represented by Mrs. Mª Helena de Felipe, has begun collaborating with the Commission on Women Entrepreneurs of the Association of the Mediterranean Chambers of Commerce and Industry. The Commission, which is presided by Mrs. Najoua Attia, President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Cap Bon, has as a main objective is to prepare different action plans that will favour Mediterranean Women Entrepreneurs that are expected to be launched in 2009.

ASCAME is an Organisation with a membership of more than 200 Chambers of Commerce, and other associated entities, from 22 countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea. It was created with the primary goal of furthering economic cooperation throughout the Mediterranean region, expressing a strategic vision of North-South cooperation and integration. This vision was confirmed by the creation of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership in 1995 through the "Barcelona Process" and has been validated today by the "Union for the Mediterranean".

AFAEMME organizes seminars in Barcelona and Madrid to better understand the benefits of combating gender stereotypes in the world of work

Mrs. Beatriz Fernandez- Tubau,Legal Advisor of AFAEMME, Sr. José Montill, President of the Generalitat of Catalonia and Mrs. Mª Helena de Felipe Lehtonen, President of AFAEMME.

AFAEMME will organize two events, one in Barcelona and another in Madrid, framed within the project "Raising awareness of companies about combating gender stereotypes”. This project was born inspired by a European initiative that has been carried out throughout 2008 and which included actions in Germany, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania and Spain.

The European initiative, called "Break gender stereotypes and give talent a chance" was lead by the International Training Center of the ILO in collaboration with the Association of Chambers of Commerce and Industry in Europe (EUROCHAMBRES) and has been executed in collaboration with the Chambers of Commerce and Association of Small & Medium Size of the countries named. This project was commissioned by the European Commission - DG Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities in the frame of the contract "Raising awareness of companies about combating gender stereotypes," under the European Community Program for Employment and Social Solidarity (2007-2013), in order to contribute to the attainment of the objectives of the European Union in respect of employment and social affairs, as stipulated in the Social Agenda, and thereby to contribute to achieving the objectives of the Lisbon strategy in this area.

Gender stereotypes have a significant impact on the labour market and the business sector. Although companies cannot afford to waste talents, stereotypes related to what is more appropriate for men and women often act as barriers.

In particular in Spain, statistics are very clear: On average, Spanish women earn 28% less than men, the activity rate registers a 22 percentage point gender difference; for every man that leaves his work place for family reasons, 27 women do the same; companies of the IBEX 35 only have 2.5% of women in their Boards of Directors; of every 10 temporary (fixed-term) contracts, 8 are occupied by women and 78% of part-time workers are also women.

To address these and other issues, such workshops will target staff of: Chambers of Commerce; Business and Professional Associations; human resource managers; and all those who work to improve SMEs competitiveness.

During the seminars to be held in Spain, AFAEMME will present the participants a series of management tools to stimulate a better use of individual talents within a company.

Closing Conference “ Break gender stereotypes, give talent a cjance”. European Parliament. 27th November 2008 Photo: Lourdes Acedo.