Here you can find some updates received from the European Women’s Lobby on the EU’s Strategy for Equality between Women and Men; to inform you about the EC’s Forum on Gender Equality 20-21 April and to ask for some actions over the coming 2-3 weeks linked with the development of EWL’s own strategy.
1. EU Strategy for Equality between Women and Men
We have been hearing very mixed messages from the EC about whether or NOT there will be a new Strategy for Equality between Women and Men. The European Commissioner for Gender Equality has repeatedly promised that there will be one, whereas credible rumours abound that there will not be one. This is linked to the political agenda of the Juncker Commission to reduce and minimise legislation, frameworks and strategies to the bare minimum. We have vehemently opposed the idea that there might not be a Strategy both formally and informally of course!
FOR ACTION: Looking at the current politics, it would be helpful if the EC feels under pressure from the EU Member States, and therefore we would like to ask you to write to your Government urging them to put pressure on Juncker, Vice President Timmermans and Commissioner Jourova. Here you can find a model letter: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0rll125LcGhbm5fdUNBem5ua3J0a3IwSzM0S2lWVl9RZXE0/view?usp=sharing for you to adapt to your national context, as well as a copy that the Swedish Women’s Lobby already sent as inspiration:https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0rll125LcGhaTdLYUhGTElSX2otMUxnVVlndFlYRk5pVVRj/view?usp=sharing.
2. EWL Participation in the EC Forum on Gender Equality 20-21 April, Brussels
In light of the above, the EC has decided to reduce the size and scope of the Forum on Gender Equality. They are more than a little confused about what we CAN actually discuss at that forum if there is to be no Strategy! Therefore we have been advised that EWL can only bring 20 participants and NOT 40 as originally envisaged. Therefore Viviane has decided to give up her space to someone else, and has proposed that these 20 participants be selected as follows: The Executive (6 persons), the Secretariat (3 persons) and 11 other Board members that are people who have been particularly active and engaged in our work over the past year (putting themselves forward for positions in committees or working groups, substantive and active participation in the EWL strategy consultation process). As it is a Strategy for the EU, Viviane also decided to restrict participation to EU Members only. We also tried to have a diversity of people from different parts of the EU, and age range.
FOR ACTION: We have contacted individually all those persons to find out if they are available. It may be that there are a few additional spaces available to us if others drop out or cannot attend. Therefore if you are particularly keen to participate and have not yet been contacted by us, please let me know by 8 April and we will put your name on the reserve list.
3. Preparation of EWL key messages
EWL Secretariat will prepare our collective key messages, drawn from our existing messaging such as 2014 Manifesto; our Beijing +20 report and our analysis of the current unfavourable political context. We will share these with you in advance to facilitate collective impact.
4. EWL Strategy consultation: information to help you prepare your engagement in the next round of consultation:
Once again many thanks for your participation in the EWL Strategic planning process! We are busily in the process of drafting a very first strategic framework for consultation with you. This will be sent out for consultation on Thursday 10 April. We will include in that consultation a few key questions that we would really welcome your response to, if possible by 17 April. In any case, we would welcome your feedback by 30 April at the latest. We will set out in that e-mail next week all the options for your feedback and engagement over the next steps towards the Assembly and beyond. Please note the following:
· For those members that are coming to Brussels for the EU Gender Equality Forum, there will be a EWL Strategy Consultation session on Sunday 19 April from 13.00-18.00, facilitated by our Consultant Jane Goldsmith, who you will certainly remember from our Assembly in Lisbon.
· For those Board members who are not coming to Brussels for the Forum, you are welcome to participate in that session, although we cannot subsidise your travel and/or accommodation for that. Please can you let Valentina know by 13 April if you wish to participate.
· We will host a webinar consultation on the same topic on 29 or 30 April to allow maximum participation.
For more information please contact Joanna Maycock, Secretary-General European Women’s Lobby / Lobby européen des femmes: firstname.lastname@example.org, www.womenlobby.org