On 9th June, 2015, the European Parliament (EP) adopted a resolution calling on the European Commission to adopt an EU Strategy on women’s rights and gender equality, with clear targets and monitoring mechanisms. The European Women’s Lobby (EWL) and University Women of Europe (UWE) welcome this call of the EP to see women’s organizations involved in the development and evaluation of the Strategy, and financially supported in their work.
The EP resolution highlights several of EWL recurrent demands on equality between women and me:
- It calls for an EU legal instrument to tackle all forms of violence against women and calls on the European Commission to accede to the Istanbul Convention. It also calls on the Commission and the Member States to develop policies to reduce the demand for prostitution and to establish programmes to exit from prostitution, building on the 2014 Honeyball resolution.
- It calls for strong measures on work-life balance, including on maternity leave, and for measures to promote women’s employment, including through affordable care and childcare. It calls on the EU to close the gender pay and pension gaps, and combat women’s poverty.
- It calls for an EU agreement on the directive on quotas, and for measures to increase parity at all levels, including in high-level EU positions.
- It calls for high-quality and accessible services in the areas of health and sexual and reproductive health and rights, safe and legal abortion and contraception, and sex education.
- It calls for action against gender stereotypes and for the promotion of non-stereotyped image of women.
The EP resolution calls for consistency between the EU internal and external action on equality between women and men and women’s rights. It highlights the gender dimension of key policy fields, such as migration, asylum, peace and security, food, trade, environment.
On 3rd June, several Ministers from different EU countries (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Cyprus, France, Germany,Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden) have written a letter to EU Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality to call for an EU Strategy on equality between women and men.
All this calls, together with the call of many women’s organizations, should finally lead to the adoption of a new strong Strategy for equality between women and men.