Sign the joint Declaration: “No Modern Democracy without Gender Equality”!

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The European women´s lobby and several other organisations have started the action± `No modern Democracy without Gender Equality`!.The 50/50 Coalition aims at achieve gender balance in all European institutions for the 2014 European Elections. Equal representation of women and men in public decision-making is a fundamental right. The under-representation of women constitutes a serious democratic deficit, which undermines the legitimacy of the contemporary democratic ideal and the European Union. A modern and genuine democracy requires gender equality.
The 50/50 Coalition aims to achieve gender balance in all European institutions for the 2014 European Elections. Therefore, the European Women’s Lobby together with a core group with representatives of the five political groups in the European Parliament have initiated the 50/50 Coalition. The core group members are Anneli Jäätteenmäki /ALDE, Franziska Brantner /Greens/EFA, Kartika Liotard/GUE-NGL, Sirpa Pietikäinen/EPP and Zita Gurmai/S&D.

The 50/50 Declaration was launched with great success at an official signing event in Strasbourg on 21 November where around 50 MEPs attended to sign the Declaration and show their support for the Coalition and gender parity. The Declaration will be open to sign for NGOs, commissioners and national politicians by the beginning of 2013. Until today, the Declaration has been signed by more than 60 MEPs.

Here you can find the Joint 50/50 Declaration: “No Modern Democracy without gender Equality” and a possibility to sign the petition.  http://www.womenlobby.org/s-impliquer/campagnes-et-actions-du-lef/50-50-campaign-for-democracy/50-50-campaign-2012-2014/article/sign-the-joint-declaration-no?lang=en


The 50/50 Coalition aims at achieve gender balance in all European institutions for the 2014 European Elections.


Iceland on top, Guardian explains Gender gap Report

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World gender gap index 2013: see how countries compare

Iceland has been named the country with the narrowest gender gap in the world by the World economic Forum. See how countries compare on the gender gap index 2013 • Get the dataExplore the interactive

Reykjavik, Iceland

Iceland is the country with the narrowest gender gap in the world according to the World Economic Forum’s gender gap index. Photograph: © Jose Fuste Raga/CORBIS

Iceland has been named the country with the narrowest gender gap in the world, for the fifth consecutive year, by the World Economic Forum (WEF). The annual gender gap index places Iceland in first place with Finland following in second.

Norway, Sweden and the Philippines take third, fourth and fifth place respectively in the index which looks at four key areas – health (life expectancy, etc), access to education, economic participation (salaries, job type and seniority) and political engagement.

According to the report, Iceland’s overall score was strengthened due to improvements in the ‘economic participation and opportunity’ and the ‘political empowerment’ subindexes whereas Finland held onto second place despite slight losses in its overall score due to a decrease in its ‘economic participation and opportunity’ score.

The UK ranks 18 out of 136 countries –  the same position as last year. The WEF stress that this “highlights some important points that the UK must address if it is to truly tackle its gender gap as there are worrisome points across all four pillars.” Overall the UK is given a score of 0.744, putting it above Austria, Canada and Luxembourg but below Cuba, Lesotho and South Africa. Of the four pillars used for assessment, the UK is ranked 29th for political empowerment, 31st for educational attainment, 35th for economic participation and opportunity and 92nd for health and survival.

Regional performance on the overall index score and by subindexes is also covered in the report. In the overall index score, North America takes first position having closed 74% of its gender gap according to the WEF. The Middle East and North Africa region take last place having closed almost 59% of its gender gap. If you look at regional performance across the four indicators then North America comes top for economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment and health and survival. Asia and the Pacific, however, lead the way in the political empowerment subindex according to the latest release.

The table below shows how each country is ranked in the 2013 gender gap index overall and by subindex. The downloadable spreadsheet has data over time and regional breakdowns. For methodology of the index visit the WEF website.

Gender gap index 2013 rankings

Click heading to sort

Overall rank
Economic Participation and Opportunity rank
Educational Attainment rank
Health and Survival rank
Political Empowerment rank
Iceland 1 22 1 97 1
Finland 2 19 1 1 2
Norway 3 1 1 93 3
Sweden 4 14 38 69 4
Philippines 5 16 1 1 10
Ireland 6 29 34 65 6
New Zealand 7 15 1 93 12
Denmark 8 25 1 64 11
Switzerland 9 23 66 72 16
Nicaragua 10 91 28 55 5
Belgium 11 34 67 47 14
Latvia 12 17 1 1 26
Netherlands 13 26 44 93 22
Germany 14 46 86 49 15
Cuba 15 65 30 63 13
Lesotho 16 18 1 1 35
South Africa 17 78 54 102 8
United Kingdom 18 35 31 92 29
Austria 19 69 1 47 19
Canada 20 9 1 49 42
Luxembourg 21 7 1 85 51
Burundi 22 3 114 99 31
United States 23 6 1 33 60
Australia 24 13 1 69 43
Ecuador 25 90 52 55 17
Mozambique 26 11 124 112 18
Bolivia 27 57 99 84 23
Lithuania 28 21 60 34 47
Barbados 29 10 1 1 63
Spain 30 76 40 75 27
Costa Rica 31 98 1 62 21
Kazakhstan 32 20 69 1 65
Mongolia 33 2 49 1 108
Argentina 34 101 42 1 24
Colombia 35 39 45 34 55
Trinidad and Tobago 36 47 51 130 38
Panama 37 45 43 61 48
Slovenia 38 43 26 75 54
Malawi 39 4 112 101 56
Bahamas 40 5 1 1 124
Cape Verde 41 96 97 1 25
Serbia 42 59 55 111 39
Bulgaria 43 49 64 34 58
Namibia 44 53 1 105 52
France 45 67 1 1 45
Uganda 46 37 123 1 28
Jamaica 47 36 80 1 74
Guyana 48 102 1 45 33
Croatia 49 61 47 34 50
Venezuela 50 89 33 1 37
Portugal 51 66 56 83 46
Moldova 52 32 74 34 87
Israel 53 56 82 93 57
Poland 54 73 37 34 49
Sri Lanka 55 109 48 1 30
Madagascar 56 51 93 74 61
Macedonia 57 71 75 128 40
Singapore 58 12 105 85 90
Estonia 59 41 59 34 88
Lao PDR* 60 8 113 106 73
Russian Federation 61 42 36 34 94
Brazil 62 74 1 1 68
Kyrgyz Republic 63 60 77 75 71
Ukraine 64 30 27 75 119
Thailand 65 50 78 1 89
Tanzania 66 70 118 112 32
Senegal 67 81 125 71 20
Mexico 68 111 70 1 36
China 69 62 81 133 59
Romania 70 55 50 34 91
Italy 71 97 65 72 44
Dominican Republic 72 63 84 89 84
Vietnam 73 52 95 132 80
Slovak Republic 74 86 1 1 77
Bangladesh 75 121 115 124 7
Ghana 76 24 111 104 95
Uruguay 77 58 41 1 116
Kenya 78 44 107 102 85
Cyprus 79 85 83 91 76
Peru 80 88 88 109 69
Greece 81 79 46 65 92
Honduras 82 94 35 52 78
Czech Republic 83 95 1 46 79
Malta 84 108 58 65 53
Botswana 85 48 1 127 127
Georgia 86 64 89 126 97
Hungary 87 68 62 34 120
Brunei Darussalam 88 33 76 109 135
Paraguay 89 83 61 55 104
Tajikistan 90 38 110 123 100
Chile 91 112 32 1 67
Angola* 92 92 127 1 34
Bhutan* 93 27 116 82 122
Armenia 94 82 29 131 115
Indonesia 95 103 101 107 75
El Salvador 96 114 79 1 70
Maldives 97 99 1 112 101
Mauritius 98 105 72 1 93
Azerbaijan 99 72 85 136 114
Cameroon 100 40 122 112 99
India 101 124 120 135 9
Malaysia 102 100 73 75 121
Burkina Faso 103 28 128 99 98
Cambodia 104 77 117 1 96
Japan 105 104 91 34 118
Nigeria 106 54 126 122 83
Belize 107 80 103 1 133
Albania 108 87 92 134 130
United Arab Emirates 109 122 1 112 81
Suriname 110 119 39 1 110
Korea, Rep. 111 118 100 75 86
Bahrain 112 117 71 112 113
Zambia 113 84 121 98 109
Guatemala 114 113 102 1 123
Qatar 115 106 53 129 135
Kuwait 116 115 57 112 126
Fiji 117 120 63 1 125
Ethiopia 118 93 131 68 66
Jordan 119 128 68 90 117
Turkey 120 127 104 59 103
Nepal 121 116 130 112 41
Oman 122 123 94 59 132
Lebanon 123 126 87 1 133
Algeria 124 133 106 108 62
Egypt 125 125 108 51 128
Benin 126 31 136 112 72
Saudi Arabia 127 134 90 52 105
Mali 128 107 132 54 106
Morocco 129 129 109 88 111
Iran, Islamic Rep. 130 130 98 87 129
Côte d’Ivoire 131 110 133 1 107
Mauritania 132 131 119 1 82
Syria 133 136 96 58 112
Chad 134 75 135 112 102
Pakistan 135 135 129 124 64
Yemen 136 132 134 81 131

Download the data

DATA: download the full spreadsheet

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Global Gender Gap report 2013

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The Global Gender Gap Report – 2013

 The Global Gender Gap Report 2013 benchmarks national gender gaps of 136 countries on economic, political, education- and health-based criteria. The Global Gender Gap Index was developed in 2006, partially to address the need for a consistent and comprehensive measure of gender equality that can track a country’s progress over time. The index points to potential role models by revealing those countries that – within their region or income group – are leaders in dividing resources more equitably between women and men than other countries, regardless of the overall level of resources available. The Global Gender Gap Report 2013 is published by the World Economic Forum in collaboration with Harvard University and the University of California, Berkeley.
The Report emphasizes persisting gender gap divides across and within regions. “No single measure can capture the complete situation of half of the world’s population. The Global Gender Gap Index seeks to measure one important aspect of gender equality: the relative gaps between women and men, across a large set of countries and across four key areas: health, education, economics and politics. “
The Global Gender Report 2013 contains a set of five Appendixes which cover a variety of topics from the tracking of the Gender Gap over time to a set of Policy Frameworks for Gender Equality. It also provides a list of country profiles, with detailed analysis of each individual situation.


Resolution for more Women on Boards adopted in EU Parliament

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40% of seats on company boards for women

Companies listed on stock exchanges in the EU would have to bring in transparent recruitment procedures so that by 2020, at least 40% of their non-executive directors are women, under a draft EU directive voted by Parliament on Wednesday. MEPs propose that companies which fail to introduce such procedures should face penalties. In 2013, only 17.6% of non-executive board members of the EU’s largest companies were women.

The resolution was adopted by 459 in favour to 148 against, with 81 abstentions in the EU parliament. .“We adopted a consistent resolution and sent out a strong signal to the Council, but also to European stakeholders and societies” said Women’s Rights Committee co-rapporteur Rodi Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou (EPP, EL). “It is essential for listed companies to evolve so as to include highly skilled women in their decision-making processes, with a view to achieving competitiveness, while fully respect EU principles and values of equality“, she added.
“The resolution clarifies and improves the open, transparent procedure for appointing non-executive board members to listed companies. Parliament has done its homework, and now it’s the turn of the Council to move on, finish this directive together with us and the Commission before the European elections, so as to move closer to gender equality within European companies. This will demonstrate to our citizens that we are fighting for non-discrimination and equal opportunities for all in the labour market”, said Legal Affairs Committee co-rapporteur Evelyn Regner (S&D, AT).
Transparent and gender-balanced recruitment procedure
MEPs call on member states to ensure that listed companies take effective and binding measures to guarantee equal access for both women and men to non-executive positions on boards so as to ensure that by 2020, at least 40% of non-executive directors’ positions are held by women. Public companies would have to reach the target already by 2018
Where candidates are equally well qualified, priority should go to the candidate of under-represented sex. MEPs stress that qualifications and merit must remain the key criteria.
The hiring rules would not apply to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), i.e. those that employ fewer than 250 persons. MEPs nonetheless encourage EU member states to support SMEs and give them incentives to improve gender balance on their boards, too.
Companies that fail to abide by the rules will be required to explain why and notify competent national authorities on the measures taken and planned to achieve the target in future.
Penalties such as fines should be imposed for failing to follow transparent appointment procedures, rather than for failing to achieve the target, MEPs say. They propose that “exclusion from public calls for tenders” should be added to the list of possible penalties, which should be made mandatory, rather than indicative, as the Commission proposes.
Next steps
To take effect, the directive needs to be endorsed by the Council of Ministers.

Save the date: invitation visit to Amsterdam and UWE board 9,10,11 May 2014.

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Several actions of the European Women’s Lobby (EWL) need our support! Next week you will receive draft letters to send to your respective authorities and ask for implementation of the Istanbul Convention!

Also a ‘save the date announcement. A visit Amsterdam and the UWE board is schedules on 9,10 and 11 of May 2014. Starting the 9th of May in the evening with a reception at the house of the President of the UWE as it is Europe Day, next day workshops on Council of Europe and European Union including the work at the EWL and hopefully an introduction to the work of the UWE Board for potential candidates.
Invited are Cer’s, presidents of the NFA’s, potential candidates and other interest groups. Together with the Dutch NFA from Amsterdam the sunday will be dedicated to cultural and friendship events.
Mind, we can only continue this program if at least 10 members participate. If you start looking for flights, train trips this early the cost will be rather low!

Interested? Keep an eye on the website and let me know if you are planning to come at Universitywomeneurope@gmail.com (don’t reply this mail that doesn’t work!!)

Met vriendelijke groet,


UWE in the news in Marbella (Spain) newspapers

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Three newspaper articles with large pictures was the result of my speech on my work at the EUPOl, the European police mission in the town hall in Marbella Spain on 21 October 2013. The president and CER (Garbine and Sabine) invited me for a visit to the Marbella and treated me and my family (we were having our autumn holidays in Spain) for a great lunch and a sight seeing tour. The Marbella branch of the University women used the occasion to cooperate with the Gender expert of Marbella and so it happened that my speech in English was translated in Spanish and over 60 people came to listen and ask questions on Afghanistan and gender issues. As the press was also interested in the UWE as a network we had quite some press coverage.

Garbine, Sabine, Blanca, Marga and all other members of the Marbella Branch thank you for a great day. UWE president visits Marbella University women University Women Marbella

European Women’s Lobby publishes feminist overview of women’s rights and gender equality in Europe!

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Facts and figures on women’s rights and gender equality are not easy to obtain and compare as every country has its own system. The European Women’s Lobby is pleased to introduce its latest publication Women’s Watch 2012-2013, a feminist overview of women’s rights and gender equality in Europe. This publication is the first of its kind – a genuinely feminist appraisal of the situation on the ground in 30 European countries with regards to women’s rights and gender equality, judged by the yardstick of the European Women’s Lobby’s ideals. The Women’s Watch report is a snapshot of the situation during a two year period (2012-2013) and looks both at legislation and statistical data with 30 very short country pages. The report looks at women’s situation and gender equality in three main areas: women in decision-making, women’s economic independence and care responsibilities, and violence against women and women’s sexual and reproductive rights, while also looking at the links between those areas.

Main findings:
Women in decision making
Women are increasingly visible in elected office, however when it comes to real positions of decision making power; heads of political parties, senior ministries, positions on corporate boards, women disappear. The report also sees that the incremental approach to participation in decision-making without binding measures has been effective in some countries, but it concludes that this has taken decades and that as European elections approach there is no more time to waste: parity works, let’s implement it!

Women’s economic independence and care responsibilities
The report observes that the crisis and austerity policies are potentially jeopardising decades of progress towards gender equality. Women’s employment rates had been growing steadily but have stalled in the last year and the quality of women’s work is decreasing. The gender pay and pensions gap are persistent and are one facet of the impact of provision of care places for children and for the elderly on women’s lives and choices. Therefore the report demands a multi-layered approach that focuses on equality in paid and unpaid work between women and men and on the promotion of women’s economic independence.

Violence against women and women’s sexual and reproductive rights
There is still a high discrepancy between legislations addressing violence against women throughout Europe, therefore creating inequalities between women in terms of protection from violence. Violence against women also remains invisible because of the lack of data, at European and national level. This is why the EWL is calling for a European Strategy and Year to raise awareness and develop consistent action to end this pervasive violation of women’s rights. In terms of women’s sexual and reproductive rights, the report shows that the right to abortion is still not granted everywhere in Europe, and that there is an obvious lack of sexuality education, which is instrumental for achieving equality between men and women.

With European parliamentary elections and a newly appointed European Commission on the agenda in 2014, the EWL, the largest women’s NGO umbrella organisation in Europe,urges decision-makers at all levels to take into account the findings of this Women’s Watch report and to use them as a tool for change towards full equality between women and men, in all spheres of life, including public policies. To download the Women’s Watch in PDF format, click here

For theme specific pages, please click on the theme

Women in decision-making (ENG/FR)

Women’s economic independence and care responsibilities (ENG/FR)

Violence against women and women’s sexual and reproductive rights (ENG/FR)

For country specific pages, please click on the country Austria – Belgium – Bulgaria –Croatia – Cyprus – Czech Republic – Denmark – Estonia – Finland – France – FYROM –Germany– Greece – Hungary – Ireland – Italy– Latvia– Lithuania – Luxembourg – Malta –Netherlands – Poland – Portugal – Romania – Slovakia– Slovenia – Spain – Sweden – Turkey– United Kingdom

Free digital course on EU in Global governance

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The EU is an economic giant but often perceived as a political dwarf and a military worm. By addressing the greatest challenges to EU external relations, the MOOC explains the law and policy aspects of the EU in global governance. This digital course is free and seems quite interesting. This is your change for a a quick and interesting course on the workings of the EU. More info: https://iversity.org/courses/the-european-union-in-global-governance?r=123c6

Call for action in European local democracy week concerning Lampedusa

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Our Vice President dr. Vera John-Mikolakjewski in her capacity as Vice President of Committee on Democracy, Social Cohesion and Global Challenges of the INGO’s of the Council of Europe asks your attention for the Local democracy week and Lampedusa, calling for a review of international treaties on the rights of refugees. They invite the European Union and Council of Europe Member States to follow a true cooperation policy and to fight efficiently against the criminal activity of traffickers and smugglers. We urge you, dear colleagues, to relay such call to parliamentarians, national and local governments of the 47 Member States of the Council of Europe.

Committee on Democracy, Social Cohesion and Global Challenges

Dear Colleagues,

How can we celebrate the European Democracy Week, while many of those who want to join our democracies die every day so close to our shores ? It took so many deaths till finally European peoples and governments are moved !

Driven by poverty, political, racial, tribal or religious persecution, thousands of men, women and children take the greatest risks to try to survive or live better.

Many of our NGOs are committed with migrants and survivors of disasters, in Lampedusa on other shores. The Council of Europe cannot stand by and do nothing to prevent such tragedies .

We demand respect for the European Convention on Human Rights and the Charter of Fundamental Rights so that the interceptions thrown by Frontex, the ” European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders”, go along with measures of effective rescue, consistent with human rights and the rights of refugees. Physical strength, in case of shipwreck, must not be the only criterion of admission on our soil !

We call for a review of international treaties on the rights of refugees

We invite the European Union and Council of Europe Member States to follow a true cooperation policy and to fight efficiently against the criminal activity of traffickers and smugglers.

We urge you, dear colleagues, to relay such call to parliamentarians, national and local governments of the 47 Member States of the Council of Europe.

You will find it also on our website following this link

With our best regards,







Quota for women on boards?!

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Today, Monday 14 October 2013 from 15.00 – 15.30h in room ASP 5 G-3  the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality and the Committee on Legal Affairs have a Joint committee meeting (Rule 51) to vote on the draft report on “Gender balance among non-executive directors of companies listed on stock exchange”. How do you think about quota for women on boards?