‘EU keen to support Brunei efforts towards gender equality’ First bilateral policy seminar between the EU and Brunei held at Radisson Hotel

EU Ambassador-Designate to Brunei Vincent Piket. Photo: Rudolf Portillo/The Scoop

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN – The European Union hopes to work with Brunei to support women’s empowerment, the EU Ambassador-Designate to Brunei said Wednesday.

“Gender equality and women’s empowerment are vital to the development and progress of both EU and Brunei individually – as well as to our partnership,” Vincent Piket said during the first bilateral policy seminar held between the EU and Brunei. 

Piket, who is also the EU Ambassador to Indonesia, is on a three-day working visit to the sultanate, where he officiated the EU-Brunei Seminar on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment.

The event featured a keynote address on women’s development from Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, Hjh Nor Ashikin Hj Johari, as well as two panel discussions with speakers from Brunei, Indonesia and the EU.

From R-L: MCYS Permanent Secretary Hjh Nor Ashikin Hj Johari; EU Ambassador-Designate to Brunei Vincent Piket; French Ambassador Bernard Regnauld-Fabre. Photo: Rudolf Portillo/The Scoop

During his keynote address, the envoy spoke about how the EU has introduced gender mainstreaming and targeted policy interventions as part of its governance.

He outlined the EU’s key gender objectives including ending gender-based violence; closing gender gaps in the labour market; achieving equal participation across different sectors of the economy; addressing the gender pay and pension gaps; and achieving gender balance in decision-making and in politics.

“Strategies as well as concrete measures must be available to compensate for women’s historical and social disadvantages that prevent women and men from operating on a level playing field,” he said.

“Working hand in hand with the government, civil society, and business, how could the EU and Brunei work together to even a modest contribution to progress in these vital themes?”

A young woman attends the EU-Brunei Seminar on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment. Photo: Rudolf Portillo/The Scoop

The seminar is part of a series of events organised through a new EU-funded project called the European Union-Brunei Darussalam Partnership Facility.

The Facility aims to promote two-way exchanges and know-how transfer between Bruneian and EU stakeholders in policy areas of shared interest, such as economic cooperation, higher education, research, environment, climate and sustainable growth.

The EU-Brunei Seminar on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment was organised by the EU-Brunei Partnership Facility. The Scoop is the official media partner for the event.