Women’s rights are among Latvia’s priorities in international law on human rights. Latvia is implementing an integrated approach to gender equality in politics and legislation, as well as in planning and decision-making processes. This was emphasised by Solvita Āboltiņa, Speaker of the Saeima, during her visit to the United States of America when meeting with Rangita de Silva de Alwis, Director of the Women in Public Service Project initiated by the former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
The Speaker stressed that Latvia has the highest percentage of women in senior management positions in the European Union: “Many local businesses in cities and rural areas are owned and managed by women. The participation of women in the rural economy is also promoted by the Association of Rural Women of Latvia. The same is true in other areas, for example, the judiciary.”
Āboltiņa also pointed out that non-governmental organisations play an important role in implementing gender equality policy in Latvia. NGOs take part in drafting gender equality policy documents, as well as in resolving various social policy issues.
After hearing about Latvia’s experience, Rangita de Silva de Alwis pointed out that the experience of Latvia in women’s rights can serve as an example to other women around the world, and she invited the Speaker of the Saeima to deliver the keynote address at the annual meeting.
During the discussion, the Director of the Project invited Solvita Āboltiņa to become involved in the Global Advisory Board of the Project, and the Speaker agreed to accept this honorary post.
From 7 to 11 October, Solvita Āboltiņa, Speaker of the Saeima, is on a working visit to the United States of America. During the visit, Āboltiņa is meeting with John Boehner, Speaker of the House of Representatives; Senator Chris Murphy, Chairman of the Subcommittee on European Affairs; as well as Michael Nutter, Mayor of Philadelphia, and Alan Greenberger, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development for the City of Philadelphia.
Saeima Press Service