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All her childhood Dr. Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis loved the theatre. However, fate destined her for other major and impressive roles - in politics. The first woman Ambassador for Cyprus in the United States of America and the first Cypriot Minister of Foreign Affairs - recently, (in May 2011) she was allocated to this office for a second time: “It's always good to be first, but this is not the main point: I think it is to participate in this global effort for women to reach the levels of gender equality they deserve. I'm very proud that I have participated in such efforts and that my country is among the few countries in the world to have a female minister of foreign affairs”, - says Dr. Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis.
In the periods between these posts is a long path full of meaningful works. Gender equality has always been an important issue. The high posts of Dr. Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis allow her to refer to gender equality issues at the highest political level and she has become an example and inspiration not only to Cyprus but also to all women of Europe. “A woman reaching for a career can experience discrimination but it is important not to give in”, - says Erato, - “My motto in life is “yes you can”, so whatever the obstacles we face, we women must and can find the ways to overcome them.”
Cypriot women are outstanding in the European context for their great interest in education. They have succeeded in overcoming obstacles and traditional stereotypes that hinder equal gender representation at the decision-making level. Dr. Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis points out that education has played an important role in the changes of the country that has enabled women to express themselves more actively in traditionally male-dominated fields: “In Cyprus we are advanced in many areas and there are many women who have achieved high levels in the judicial system and professional fields. But in the political arena I think we still have to work much more and I think the example that I am giving to women is that we can reach these high levels in politics. I hope I will be followed by many women.”
Dr. Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis names the Nordic country as an example for solving gender equality problems. She graduated in Finland, later was appointed as Cyprus Ambassador in all the Nordic countries and Baltic States. In Dr. Erato's opinion, these countries have proven to all countries in the world that the participation of women in decision making is possible. However, when asked to name the main source of motivation for her career, she answered that it was out of love for her own country: “The situation in Cyprus was the strongest motivation for me to pursue this political post. I am talking about the political situation in Cyprus: the ongoing occupation and division of our country since the Turkish invasion in 1974. And ongoing efforts of my country, my government to reunify this country and to reunify our people. This was always my strongest motive: to be able to participate personally in international efforts to solve this problem.”
The wish to create a better future for our world should be the aim and purpose of every person. It is extremely important that both men and women take part in this process. “I think that women and men together can save the world, world economy. But we need the equal participation of the 51 percent of world population which is women, to participate equally in all fields in order to be able to solve all these global problems”.