Carmen Aguilera Garcia is a freelance journalist from Honduras, living in the Köln/Bonn area in Germany, studying at UNED in Madrid/Spain. The article is based on a blog, which was enlarged and enriched for EUFAJ:
https://libertasblogs.wordpress.com/2017/04/20/women- in-power-the-case-of-latin-america/, 

EUFAJ: http://www.libertas-institut.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/EUFAJ-2-2017.pdf page 60-68. She writes also for Deutsche Welle, Spanish papers and Central American news portals.

 Women Power in international politics and economy is a rather new subject. Discussions are held only since several years about it23. As of January 2017, the global participation rate of women in national-level parliaments is 23.3%. A number of countries are exploring measures that may increase women’s participation in government at all levels, from the local to the national. It is, too, necessary for gender parity in our legislation, at least an interim quota for women (as e.g. in boards of big companies). This notion of women’s empowerment is rooted in the human capabilities approach in female representatives, not only to advance women’s rights, but also to advance in national legislatures.

23 On Women in Power in the Eastern Partnership states (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine) see the publication of the study: :“Women in Power and Decision-Making in the Eastern Partnership Countries“, EUFAJ 2/2016, p. 64, http://www.libertas-institut.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/EUFAJ-2- 2016.pdf

European Union Foreign Affairs Journal – N° 2 – 2017
http://www.eufaj.eu, eufaj@libertas-institut.com 60
     

The latest figures of women in national parliaments (only single or lower chambers) of the Americas – as per 1.1.2017, and out of 193 countries indicate that Bolivia is first, with global rank 2 and 53 % (99 out of 130 seats), Cuba is global 3rd, with 48,9% (299/612), Nicaragua global 5th, with 45,7& (42/02) and Mexico global 8th, with 42,6% (213/500). The next one is Ecuador, global rank 11, with 41,6% (57/137), and Argentina, global rank 16, with 38,9% (100/257). To mention another continent: Then comes Germany, with global rank 23, 37%, and 233/630, Six other EU Member States come before this rank.

The following ranks of Latin America are interesting and tell a lot: 

27. Costa Rica – 35,1% (29/57)
33. Grenada – 33,3% (5/15)
36. El Salvador – 32,1% (37/94)
38. Guyana – 31,9% (22/68)
43. Trinidad & Tobago – 31,0% (13/42)
54. Peru – 27,6% (36/130)
59. Dominican Republic – 26,8% (51/190)
[then comes as 62. Canada, with 26,3%, and 33/128)
63. Honduras – 25,8% (32/128)
64. Suriname – 25,5 (12/51)
66. Dominica – 25,0% (8/32)
83. Venezuela – 22,2% (39/167)
93. Uruguay – 20,2% (20/99)
[… and as no. 104. come the USA: with 19,1% and 83/436 in the House of Representatives, and in the Senate with 21%, and 21/100]
106. Colombia – 18,7% (30/166)
107. Panama – 18,3% (13/71)
113. Jamaica – 17,5% (11/63)
… (then some small Caribbean island states)
128. Chile – 15,8% (19/120)
133. Paraguay – 13,8% (11/80)
140. Guatemala – 12,7% (20/158)
154. Brazil – 10,7% (55/513)
… and at the very end:
183. Belize – 3,2% (1/32)
187. Haiti – 2,6% (3/117)

-This is an extract from the tables of the Interparliamentary Union; http://www.ipu.org/wmn-e/arc/classif010117.htm, which is reproduced at the end of these lines. From the same source one can learn that, in the regional distribution, the Americas have quite a hig score of 28,3% women in parliamentary assemblies (but the
European Union Foreign Affairs Journal – N° 2 – 2017
http://www.eufaj.eu, eufaj@libertas-institut.com 61
     

top are the Nordic countries, with 41,7%), still a bit ahead of Europe-OSCE countries, with 26,4%. However, the EU states alone are a bit better. 

And in the regional parliamentary assemblies there are only 21,6% in the Central American Parliament (led by Nicaragua, El Salvador and Honduras with 7, 6 and 5 M.P’s); in the European Parliament however the comparable figure is 35,2%, with 259 out of 736 seats held by women. 

Women in the labour force
About 100 million women are in Latin America’s labour force, Labour participation of women in Latin American has increased from 49.2 per cent in 2000 to 52.9 per cent in 2010, and seven of ten working women are in the services sector, where working conditions can be precarious. Of those in the services sector, 64.6% do not have a working contract. 

The same applies to the 34.8%t of those working in commerce. Despite significant progress over the past decades, gender equality remains a challenge in Latin America, where women study more often than men, but earn less. 

In our policies that have in theory reduced inequality and promote the inclusion of more women at the workplace in conditions of equality, women entrepreneurs and micro-entrepreneurs are promoted. This must include more education and training to improve the school-to-work transitions, childcare, division of labour in families, increased social security and respect for labour rights, among others.24 

It is better now, but not sufficient 

One example of Central American countries is Honduras – my home country. With a quarter of woman Members of Parliament, there is at the moment neither equality of payment nor a breathtaking share of women in parliamentary power. But Honduran women ask each day more to require their part of living in the political space. With a share of more than 50% of the entire population, they want to have more than 26% of the participation quote in the parliament. In Latin American politics, women’s work is not always recognized. 

In Honduras, the law on equal opportunities for women had set a quota of 40%, which cannot be reached. According to Suyapa Martinez of the NGO Education Centre for Women this is a radicalizing problem in political participation. It’s just that feminism is not equal everywhere. On 25 January 1955, the Decree of recognition of rights for women in the general election in Honduras to vote was issued during the administration of Julio Lozano.

-24 http://www.ilo.org/global/about-the-ilo/newsroom/comment-analysis/WCMS_237488/lang–en/index.htm European Union Foreign Affairs Journal – N° 2 – 2017
http://www.eufaj.eu, eufaj@libertas-institut.com 

A year later in 1956 for the first time a woman was elected as a member of the Congress of Guatemala. In the year 1999, of the 960 candidates only 133 women or 11.3% were elected in Guatemala, in Costa Rica 19.3% and El Salvador 16.7%. Peru has a single chamber of 130 congress members, of which 36 are women. This represents 27.7%, which places Peru on post 54 in the global list of women’s participation in politics. Today the percentage in the parliaments of Costa Rica is 35% and of El Salvador 32% – a certain progress of course. But still far away from a 50% representation.

The IPU (UIP) documents on women’s participation in parliaments of 193 countries indicate that, globally, about 23.4 percent of lawmakers are women. In other words, less than a quarter. Election law experts say in this context that mechanisms in the electoral law are not the simple solution.

Machismo


In women power we have in Central America, in Honduras, Berta Cáceres, she was environmental and human rights activist – she fought for human rights and for a better environment. She only wanted a better life for everyone. What causes machismo? In some companies women are paid less than men and they still have to face sexual harassment. If they lose their job, they do not get any compensation at all. Women are – generally speaking – very often victims of discrimination in Honduras. And Berta Cáceres was killed. Why?

Other example in Honduras: 20 years ago, in Honduras a daughter of peasants had no right to education and could go to school. She had to stay at home, she had to make tortillas, because she is a women and women must stay at home. This is machismo. We as women have of course. the right to better social development. The question of the forthcoming years was: Only because you are a man, have you the right to go to a school, and why I as a woman not?

Other example in the whole of Latin America: Father thinks that because you are a man, you need more money and with this we produced inequality for women. This is Machismo.

Or when women have no right to comment social or political events. This happens very often. Women have to be submissive. „I have not the right to talk!“ – this is very often the case.

Machismo in our current Policy includes another example: the populism machista. 

This kind of Populist Machismo which of course advocates the subordination of women, does not exist in other varieties of populism.

 But it has appeared on several occasions for example in
European Union Foreign Affairs Journal – N° 2 – 2017
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Argentina with ex-president Carlos Menem. Menem said he defined himself as “half libertine”. He said that it is normal for a man to have extramarital affairs. 25

Women presidents

Argentine


In the executive, the governments, it is interesting; there were some women even in Latin America. For instance a woman who was the first spouse of an Argentine President. At that time, in the 1950s/1960s women had not really political rights. Women like Alicia Moreau de Justo, Julieta Lanteri, Dellepiane Elvira Rawson and others had unsuccessfully claimed the recognition of political rights for women. In general, the dominant male culture considered a lack of femininity which a woman should prevent to comment or make policy. Evita Martínez de Perón, was the first woman to reach the Presidency of Argentina, and assumed the position of President after the death of her spouse, President Juan Domingo Perón. So did Cristina Kirchner of Argentina. Alone and without succeeding their spouses these two women would have never been presidents. By the way, also the only female presidents of Guyana and Panama were the successors of their husband presidents.

However, Cristina Kirchner in Argentina, lawyer and politician, who served as President of Argentina from October 2007 to 2015, was the first woman re-elected to the office. Ideologically a Peronist and social democrat, she was a member of the Justicialist Party, with her political approach being characterised as Kirchnerism.

Brasil


Dilma Rousseff, who served as President of Brasil from January 2011 being the first lady to hold the position of top leader in the policies of Brasil and following the steps of Lidia Gueiler Tejada (1979), Michelle Barchelet (2006) and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (2007), had been the fourth women elect as president in Latin America.

In 2014, during the presidential elections, the President Dilma Rousseff supported the criminalization of homophobia, citing the „high rate“ of acts of violence against homosexuals in the country. She launched also the“ Light for All“ program, “Luz para Todos”. Rousseff had proposed to accelerate the access to electricity, which had a deadline of 2015, suggesting that 1.4 million rural households would get electricity access. She argued that it was a social
 

https://www.opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/federico-finchesltein/trump-y-el-populismo-machista, in the Latin America edition of Open Demcracy, 3.10.2016 (acceded 20.5.2017) 

inclusion goal that should be a part of Fome Zero (Zero Hunger) and that it was not possible to assume that such a program would provide a financial return.

And not to forget that she was forced to resign amid a lot of machismo arguments.26 Her successor Temar who was among the drivers of the impeachment proceedings against her is now himself accused of being involved in corruption cases.

Laura Chinchilla is the first President in the history of Costa Rica, Michelle Bachelet Jeria was President of the Republic of Chile from 2006 to 2010, Mireya Elisa Moscoso Rodríguez, in 1999 won the presidential elections in Panama. Janet Jagan Rosemberg became first woman President in the history of Guyana. Rosalía Arteaga Serrano was the first woman in the history of Ecuador in the positions of President and Vice President. Violeta Barrios Chamorra was President of Nicaragua and Lidia Gueiler Tejada was interim President of Bolivia.

Finally, Rigoberta Menchú Tum should not be forgotten. She has become a figure in indigenous political parties and ran for President of Guatemala in 2007 and 2011 and has dedicated her life to publicizing the rights of Guatemala’s indigenous feminists during and after the Guatemalan Civil War (1960–1996), and to promoting indigenous rights in the country. She was later rewarded with the Peace Nobel Prize.

Economic Power


Women are even less present in positions of economic power. They represent 9 per cent of members of the boards of central banks, 15 per cent of members of the governing bodies of trade unions and 10 per cent of members of the governing bodies of employers’ organisations. Women in the boards of companies registered on the stock exchange are less than 15 per cent. Ukraine, for example, stands out as the only Eastern Partnership country with two women Presidents and two women Vice-Presidents in two of its organisations representing workers.

In a legislation, executive political institutions, political parties, public administration we need not violence and harassment against women. Their share in them remains insufficient. Women in power roles of leadership are very important for actions for equality, development and peace.

Our object is a better the change developments and measures in women’s and men’s participation in power structures, in the single, lower houses of the national, federal Parliaments; promote a balanced participation in political elections (policy). As well as in the local assemblies. There is also a need to change women’s representation in Central Banks, economic ministries, employers’ confederations, labor unions, and of course among the entrepreneurs. This requires education and skills for women leaders – the contrary what they could expect only
26 

see detailed CVs of these women, in Spanish, under http://www.adnpolitico.com/2012/2012/02/06/las- presidentas-de-america-latina

10, 20, 30 years ago. Slowly, the situation improves, as we know it also from the EU. But very slowly.

http://www.ipu.org/wmn-e/world.htm



The role of the EU – and what the European Parliament could do

The EU has a certain role for Latin America. Europeans are not engaged the same way as Trump’s United States. There is a general striving in Europe for equal salaries and the fight against violence and trafficking of women. As well it is important that a significant majority of women does not feel discriminated against because of their gender.

Also the European Parliament has a specialised permanent committee on gender issues where everything can be discussed. Parliamentary committees exercise a certain pressure, perhaps their attempt to legitimise themselves, on themselves to deliver results. In my opinion, the European Union and above all ts Parliament should „export“ more knowhow about this committee and the work it does to Latim America. This should be included into the agendas of the relevant delegations of the European Parliament. It should start with questions on education and above all women entrepreneurs and start-ups.

Women’s Rights and Gender Equality discuss interesting topics for decision making processes in EU member states. the gender pay gap requires more than passing laws and legislation or introducing the quota system; it is rather about creating a culture of equality and opportunity in western democracies, above all in the European Union, as at present not much can be expected by the US President (who seems to be more specialised on „pussy grabbing“).

A better solution would the implementation the integration of the gender perspective into every stage of policy processes not only in the European Union, but also in Latin America. It could start with discriminations and inequalities in the labor market. The European Commission follows the dual approach of specific initiatives and gender mainstreaming. Gender mainstreaming is the integration of the gender perspective. 27


Another interesting data collection has been done by the World Bank, with a table on the proportion of seats held by women in national parliaments (%)28

What has to be done in Latin America? The continent needs action plans and roadmaps for Zero Discrimination against women in economic and social life at the workplace. There should be more references to equal value, as prescribed in Article 157 Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) or of relevant UN employment documents

Every person has the right to live without discrimination. Also women in our political leadership on all levels. Women’s rights must be understood and accepted also by men, like evident facts, so that nobody has to discuss them anymore. The voices of conscience will not be silenced. And also the women of Latin America have the right for their best future and their best perspective.

27 See for instance for this approach http://ec.europa.eu/justice/gender-equality/tools/index_en.htm 28 http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SG.GEN.PARL.ZS?locations=HN

Women in Power- The Example of Latin America 

Bild

https://libertasblogs.wordpress.com/2017/04/20/women-in-power-the-case-of-latin-america/

By Carmen Aguilera Garcia, a freelance journalist from Honduras, living in Germany, studying at UNED in Madrid/Spain.
Women Power in international politics and economy is a relatively new subject. Discussions are held only since several years about this subject. As of January 2017, the global participation rate of women in national-level parliaments is 23.3%. A number of countries are exploring measures that may increase women’s participation in government at all levels, from the local to the national. It is, too, necessary for gender parity in our legislation, at least an interim quota for women (as e.g. in boards of big companies). This notion of women’s empowerment is rooted in the human capabilities approach in female representatives, not only to advance women’s rights, but also to advance in national legislatures.
These are the latest figures of women in national parliaments (only single or lower chambers) of the Americas – as per 1.1.2017, and out of 193 countries:
     2 (global rank) Bolivia – 53, % (99 out of 130 seats)
Cuba – 48,9% (299/612)

Nicaragua – 45,7& (42/02)

Mexico – 42,6% (213/500)

Ecuador – 41,6% (57/137)

Argentina – 38,9% (100/257)

[then comes as 23. Germany, for comparison, with 37%, and 233/630; six other EU Member States come before]
Costa Rica – 35,1% (29/57)

Grenada – 33,3% (5/15)

El Salvador – 32,1% (37/94)

Guyana – 31,9% (22/68)

Trinidad & Tobago – 31,0% (13/42)

Peru – 27,6% (36/130)

Dominican Republic – 26,8% (51/190)

[then comes as 62. Canada, with 26,3%, and 33/128)
Honduras – 25,8% (32/128)

Suriname – 25,5 (12/51)

Dominica – 25,0% (8/32)

Venezuela – 22,2% (39/167)

Uruguay – 20,2% (20/99)

[… and as no. 104. come the USA: with 19,1% and 83/436 in the House of Representatives, and in the Senate with 21%, and 21/100]
Colombia – 18,7% (30/166)

Panama – 18,3% (13/71)

Jamaica – 17,5% (11/63)

… (then some small Caribbean island states)
Chile – 15,8% (19/120)

Paraguay – 13,8% (11/80)

Guatemala – 12,7% (20/158)

Brazil – 10,7% (55/513)

… and at the very end: 183. Belize – 3,2% (1/32)
Haiti – 2,6% (3/117)

This is an extract from the tables of the Interparliamentary Union; http://www.ipu.org/wmn-e/arc/classif010117.htm. From the same source one can learn that, in the regional distribution, the Americas have quite a hig score of 28,3% women in parliamentary assemblies (but the top are the Nordic countries, with 41,7%), still a bit ahead of Europe-OSCE countries, with 26,4%. However, the EU alone is a bit better.
And in the regional parliamentary assemblies there are 21,6% in the Central American Parliament (led by Nicaragua, El Salvador and Honduras with 7, 6 and 5 M.P’s); in the European Parliament however the comparable figure is 35,2%, with 259 out of 736 seats held by women.

Women’s work not always recognized
One example of Central American countries is Honduras – my home country. With a quarter of woman Members of Parliament, we have at the moment neither equality of payment nor an exciting share of women in parliamentary power. But Honduran women ask each day more to require their part of living in the political space. With a share of more than 50% of the entire population, they want to have more than 26% of the participation quote in the parliament. In Latin American politics, you can see that women’s work is not always recognized.
In Honduras, the law on equal opportunities for women had set a quota of 40%, which cannot be reached. According to Suyapa Martinez of the NGO Education Centre for Women this is a radicalizing problem in political participation. It’s just that feminism is not equal everywhere. On 25 January 1955, the Decree of recognition of rights for women in the general election in Honduras to vote was issued during the administration of Julio Lozano.
A year later in 1956 for the first time a woman was elected as a member of the Congress of Guatemala. In the year 1999 by the 960 candidates only 133 women with 11.3% were elected in Guatemala, in Costa Rica 19.3% and El Salvador 16.7%. Today the percentage in the parliaments of Costa Rica is 35% and of El Salvador 32% – a certain progress indeed, but not enough.
Peru, has a single chamber of 130 congress members, of which 36 are women. This represents 27.7%, which places Peru on post 54 in the global list of women’s participation in politics.
The IPU (UIP )documents on women’s participation in parliaments of 193 countries indicate that, globally, about 23.4 percent of lawmakers are women. In other words, less than a quarter. Election law experts say in this context that mechanisms in the electoral law are not the simple solution.
Women presidents in Latin America
In the executive, the governments, it is interesting; there were some women even in Latin America. For instance a woman who was the first spouse of an Argentine President. At that time, in the 1950s/1960s women had not really political rights. Women like Alicia Moreau de Justo, Julieta Lanteri, Dellepiane Elvira Rawson, had unsuccessfully claimed the recognition of political rights for women. In general, the dominant male culture considered a lack of femininity which a woman comment policy. María Estela Martínez de Perón, was the first woman to reach the Presidency of the nation of Argentina, and assumed the position of President after the death of her spouse, President Juan Domingo Perón. So did Kristina Kirchner of Argentina. Alone these two women would have never been presidents.
Laura Chinchilla is the first President in the history of Costa Rica, Michelle Bachelet Jeria was President of the Republic of Chile from 2006 to 2010, Mireya Elisa Moscoso Rodríguez, in 1999 won the presidential elections in Panama. Janet Jagan Rosemberg became first woman President in the history of Guyana. Rosalía Arteaga Serrano was the first woman in the history of Ecuador in the positions of President and Vice President. Violeta Barrios Chamorra was President of Nicaragua and Lidia Gueiler Tejada was interim President of Bolivia. And not to forget Dilma Roussef who was the first female president of Brazil, and who was forced to resign amid a lot of machismo arguments. (see detailed CVs of these women, in Spanish, under http://www.adnpolitico.com/2012/2012/02/06/las-presidentas-de-america-latina)
Finally, Rigoberta Menchú Tum should not be forgotten. She has become a figure in indigenous political parties and ran for President of Guatemala in 2007 and 2011 and has dedicated her life to publicizing the rights of Guatemala’s indigenous feminists during and after the Guatemalan Civil War (1960–1996), and to promoting indigenous rights in the country.
Economic Power
Women are even less present in positions of economic power. They represent 9 per cent of members of the boards of central banks, 15 per cent of members of the governing bodies of trade-unions and 10 per cent of members of the governing bodies of employers’ organisations. Women in the boards of companies registered on the stock exchange are less than 15 per cent. Ukraine, however, stands out again as the only Eastern Partnership country with two women Presidents and two women Vice-Presidents in two of its organisations representing workers.
In a legislation, executive political institutions, political parties, public administration we need not violence and harassment against women remains insufficient. Women in power roles in leadership is very important for Action for Equality Development and Peace.
Our object is a better the change developments and measures in women’s and men’s participation in power structures, in the single, lower houses of the national, federal Parliaments; promote a balanced participation in political elections (policy). As well as in the local assemblies. There is also a need to change women’s representation in Central Banks, economic ministries, employers’ confederations, labor unions (see as an example for other regions of the world: Women in power and decision-making n Eastern Partnership countries, on page 64 of European Unon Foreign Affairs Journal 2/2016: http://www.libertas-institut.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/EUFAJ-2-2016.pdf).
Carmen Aguilera García

Women in power -the case of latin america 

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Fragen zum Außenministerium zu Flucht und Rassismus, die fragen waren am herr Kurz gesandt und es waren weitergeleitet zu Dr. Hannes Schreiber (Gesandter, Leiter der Abteilung IV.2) Reise- und Grenzverkehr; Aufenthaltswesen; Bekämpfung des Menschenhandels; Flüchtlings- und Wanderungswesen

Sebastian Kurz (* 27. August 1986 in Wien) ist ein österreichischer Politiker der ÖVP. Er ist seit 2009 Bundesobmann der Jungen Volkspartei und seit 2015 Vorsitzender der Politischen Akademie der ÖVP. 2010/11 war er Mitglied des Wiener Gemeinderats und Landtags und 2013 Abgeordneter zum Nationalrat. Von 2011 bis 2013 war er Staatssekretär für Integration. Seit 2013 ist er Bundesminister für Europa, Integration und Äußeres, zunächst in der Bundesregierung Faymann II und seit 2016 in der Bundesregierung Kern, einer Koalition von SPÖ und ÖVP. Seit Jänner 2017 hat Kurz den Vorsitz der OSZE inne.

Carmen Aguilera: Herr Kurz,  was denken Sie als Politiker über den Rassismus von der Lehrerin für Asylkindern, Auswandererkindern oder weil sie schwarze Hautfarbe haben, die unsere Schulen besuchen in Österreich und Deutschland? Eine Lehrerin hat ein Kind bestraft, nur weil das Kind Migrationshintergrund hat? Wo sind das Recht für diese Kinder?

Carmen Aguilera: Herr kurz, welche ist ihre Meinung über die aktuelle Ziffer von IOM (“ International Organisation für Migration „), dass bis Juni 2016 mehr als 3,600 Flüchtlingen ins Mittelmeer gestorben sind?

Carmen Aguilera: Herr Kurz, was denken sie über die Flüchtlingsfrauen, die von Polizisten an der Grenze laut Amnesty International von Mazedonien, Türkei und Deutschland vergewaltigt worden sind? Welche Alternativen haben sie für diese Frauen?

Carmen Aguilera: Herr Kurz, was denken sie über die Flüchtlingsfrauen, die von Polizisten an der Grenze laut Amnesty International von Mazedonien, Türkei und Deutschland vergewaltigt worden sind? Welche Alternativen haben sie für diese Frauen?

Carmen Aguilera: Herr Kurz, ich habe einen 7 jährigen Sohn, der mich gefragt hat, warum die Kinder im Mediterranen gestorben sind? Mein Sohn hat im Radio gehört, dass die Kinder bei der Überfahrt gestorben sind? Welche Antwort können sie einen 7 jährigen Kind geben als Politiker? Sie wissen, dass die Kindern unseren Zukunft sind.

 

Bundesminister für Europa, Integration und Äußeres„,

GZ. BMEIA-AT.4.15.10/0410-IV.2c/2016                                     Wien, am 12. Oktober 2016

 

Sehr geehrte Frau Aguilera Garcia! Als Leiter der für Ihre Eingabe zuständigen Abteilung des Bundesministeriums für Europa, Integration und Äußeres (BMEIA) darf ich Ihnen zu Ihrem an Herrn Bundesminister Kurz gerichtetes Mail vom 1. August Folgendes antworten. Ich möchte eingangs bemerken, dass im BMEIA zur Zeit zahlreiche Anfragen, Kommentare und Vorschläge von besorgten Bürgerinnen und Bürgern einlangen, die als wertvolle Beiträge zum derzeit sowohl in Österreich als auch auf europäischer Ebene laufenden Diskussionsprozess Beachtung finden und selbstverständlich geprüft werden. Seit Mitte letzten Jahres gehörte Österreich in besonderem Ausmaß zu jenen EU-Staaten, die die Hauptlast der Flucht- und Migrationsbewegungen aus den Krisenregionen tragen. Um Österreich nicht über das Zumutbare hinaus zu belasten, war es erforderlich, Sofortmaßnahmen zu setzen, um einen unbegrenzten Zustrom von Flüchtlingen und Migranten zu verhindern. Es galt dafür zu sorgen, dass die Belastungen für das Asyl- und Integrationssystem ein für den Sozialstaat tragfähiges Ausmaß nicht übersteigen und die Sicherheit der BürgerInnen unseres Landes weiterhin gewährleistet werden kann. Deshalb wurden seit der Jahreswende die bereits Mitte September 2015 vorübergehend wiedereingeführten Binnengrenzkontrollen zu unseren Nachbarstaaten schrittweise intensiviert und eine Reihe begleitender Maßnahmen ergriffen, auf die sich Bund, Länder und Gemeinden auf einem Asylgipfel am 20. Jänner d.J. geeinigt haben. Dazu gehören neben der Bereitstellung zusätzlicher Ressourcen für das Asylsystem, den Grenzschutz und die Integration von Flüchtlingen v.a. die Festlegung einer als Richtwert dienenden Obergrenze zur Aufnahme von AsylwerberInnen, die Forcierung der freiwilligen Ausreise und zwangsweisen Außerlandesbringung nicht-schutzbedürftiger Personen sowie rechtliche Anpassungen, die die Effizienz der drastisch gestiegenen Asylverfahren erhöhen und den Familiennachzug von Asylberechtigten und subsidiär Schutzberechtigten an strengere Vorgaben binden. Für die österreichische Bundesregierung gilt es, den Herausforderungen, die sich aus dem drastisch gestiegenen Zustrom von Menschen aus Krisenregionen ergeben, so zu begegnen, dass unser Land sowohl seinen rechtlichen und humanitären Verpflichtungen, Flüchtlingen Schutz und Aufnahme zu gewähren, weiterhin nachkommen als auch die innere Sicherheit sowie die rechts- und sozialstaatlichen Errungenschaften weiterhin aufrecht erhalten kann. Dabei ist darauf zu achten, dass die ergriffenen Maßnahmen im Einklang mit der Bundesverfassung, dem geltenden Recht der Europäischen Union und völkerrechtlichen Verpflichtungen, wie insbesondere der Europäischen Menschenrechts- und der Genfer Flüchtlingskonvention, stehen. Gleichzeitig ist sich die österreichische Bundesregierung bewusst, dass die Herausforderungen der Migrations- und Flüchtlingskrise nur durch gemeinsame europäische Strategien und verstärkte internationale Zusammenarbeit bewältigt werden können. In der ersten Hälfte dieses Jahres konnte durch die von Österreich forcierte enge Kooperation mit den Staaten des Westbalkans die Praxis des unkontrollierten Durchwinkens von Flüchtlingen und MigrantInnen entlang der Westbalkanroute gestoppt werden, was zu einem erheblichen Rückgang des Migrationsdrucks auf Österreichs Südgrenzen führte. Außerdem führte die von der EU mit der Türkei am 18. März d.J. abgeschlossene Vereinbarung dazu, dass die lebensbedrohenden Überfahrten über die Ägäis stark abnahmen. Wesentlicher Kern dieser Vereinbarung ist, dass alle illegal in Griechenland ankommenden MigrantInnen in die Türkei rückgeführt werden, soweit diese für betroffene AsylwerberInnen nach rascher individueller Prüfung als sicherer Drittstaat angesehen wird. Im Gegenzug dafür erhält die Türkei starke Unterstützung für den Flüchtlingsschutz in ihrem Land. Außerdem nimmt die EU unzweifelhaft schutzbedürftige syrische Flüchtlinge, in begrenztem Ausmaß und fair verteilt auf die Mitgliedstaaten, direkt aus der Türkei auf. Flüchtlingen und schutzbedürftigen Menschen sowie Menschen in Seenot muss geholfen werden. Österreich tritt aber dafür ein, dass Hilfe aus Seenot und Schutzgewährung mittelfristig entkoppelt werden. Das heißt auch, dass bei einer Seerettung an der EUAußengrenze Alternativen zu einer Schutzgewährung innerhalb Europas eröffnet werden sollten und die Aufnahme von Schutzbedürftigen in Europa durch kontrolliertes, unter den EU-Mitgliedstaaten fair aufgeteiltes Resettlement aus Drittstaaten erfolgen sollte. Österreich setzt sich auf EU-Ebene nachdrücklich dafür ein, dass die Vorschläge für einen verbesserten Schutz der EU-Außengrenze, für ein stärker vereinheitlichtes europäisches Asyl- und Resettlement-System und für eine effektivere Durchsetzung der Rückkehrverpflichtung von illegal eingereisten Migranten ohne Schutzberechtigung rasch umgesetzt werden. Betreffend Iihre Fragen zu menschenrechtlichen Themen kann ich Ihnen versichern, dass es in Österreich einen umfassenden gesetzlichen Rahmen zum Schutz vor Diskriminierung gibt. Die Gesetzgebung und die Verwaltung haben jede Unterscheidung aus dem alleinigen Grund der Rasse, der Hautfarbe, der Abstammung oder der nationalen oder ethnischen Herkunft zu unterlassen, dies ist im Bundesverfassungsgesetz betreffend das Verbot rassistischer Diskriminierung verankert. Österreich verfügt über mehrere Antidiskriminierungseinrichtungen, z.B. die Gleichbehandlungsanwaltschaft. Diese bieten Betroffenen von rassistischen Vorfällen Unterstützung. Im BMEIA ist außerdem eine Hotline gegen Diskriminierung und Intoleranz eingerichtet (050 11 50 4242). Selbstverständlich ist es auch Lehrerinnen und Lehrern untersagt, Kinder aus rassistischen Gründen zu bestrafen. Beleidigende Äußerungen gegenüber SchülerInnen sind verboten, ein solcher Verstoß gegen das Schulunterrichtsgesetz kann im Rahmen eines Disziplinarverfahrens geahndet werden. Das Eintreten für Geschlechtergleichstellung und Frauenrechte sind Schwerpunkte der österreichischen Außenpolitik und Entwicklungszusammenarbeit: So leistet Österreich auch durch Trainingskurse zum Schutz von Zivilisten in bewaffneten Konflikten einen konkreten Beitrag im Kampf gegen sexuelle Gewalt in Konflikten. Österreich ist sich der spezifisch schutzwürdigen Situation von Frauen auf der Flucht bewusst. Im Rahmen des Europarates trug Österreich führend zur Ausarbeitung des Übereinkommens zur Verhütung und Bekämpfung von Gewalt gegen Frauen und häuslicher Gewalt (sog. Istanbul Konvention) bei und hat dieses am 14. November 2013 auch als einer der ersten Staaten ratifiziert. Die Istanbul Konvention weist auf die Notwendigkeit von besonderen Schutzmaßnahmen für Frauen und Mädchen auf der Flucht hin und ist das erste rechtsverbindliche Instrument, das Staaten verpflichtet, gegen gender-spezifische und häusliche Gewalt aufzutreten. Ich hoffe, dass diese Erläuterungen Antworten auf Ihre Fragen geben.

Vielen Dank Minister Sebastian Kurz  und an der Herr Hannes Schreiber zuständig für der  Abteilung IV.2 in Österreich.

Carmen Aguilera García

Das Österreicher Außenministerium, in der Flucht- und Migrationsbewegungen aus den Krisenregionen

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