European Parliament

International Women’s Day 2020: 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration

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In 1995, the UN’s 4th World Conference on women adopted Beijing Declaration, a resolution regarding the empowerment and advancement of women around the world. It set out strategic objectives to achieve gender equality in 12 areas, including the economy, violence against womenwomen in power and women and the environment. 


In light of increasing global concerns of the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) a conference to mark the anniversary of the Beijing Declaration planned by European Parliament’s women’s rights committee for 5 March was cancelled, the 64th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW64) was significantly sized down to a one-day procedural meeting with Member States’ New York-based representatives. Although the political statement and multi-annual work programme has been approved at this meeting, women’s civil society organisations from around the world missed this unique moment to bring the collective voices of women and girls, in all their diversity, to the international political table.

Sadly so far, the UN and UN Member States have not been forthcoming to reassure us or propose other ways in which Women’s Civil Society voices will still be brought to the . This lack of commitment is part of the broader concern of the increasingly shrinking space of women’s civil society. The UN system and the Member States must take proactive steps to support feminist women’s organisations, to ensure they are included and financially supported within upcoming UN processes for 2020, including the Generation Equality Forums in Mexico and Paris, and the UN General Assembly in New York.

In times like this, we must remain vigilant and stand strong in the face of uncertainty, adversity, and instability. We continue to recognize the incredible work of women’s activists and feminists everywhere, and their ongoing efforts to ensure a feminist world where women and girls live free, equal and dignified lives. While we are physically divided, we are united in our vision for a feminist world.” Gwendoline Lefebvre, President, European Women’s Lobby

Ahead of International Women’s Day on 8 March, EWL has published its report 25 years of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (1995-2020): THE TIME TO DELIVER IS NOW!” The report looks back at progress made in the EU in the last five years in relation to some of the BPfA’s critical areas of concern, highlights key actions of EWL and its members, and identifies remaining obstacles, to which we present our demands.

Campaign for #genderequalEU – Women are majority in the EU. Why not in the European parliament?

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In May 2019, the new composition of the European Parliament will be voted by European citizens. The decision of the elections will also have an impact on the face of the new European Commission and will have an influence on European politics, taking on the present and shaping the future of women and girls in Europe.

We hope that you can join us in the campaign for #genderequalEU, data show that women are still very much second-class citizens in the European Union (EU) –  2018 Report on equality between women and men in EU 

1. Vote for women candidates who promote women rights and gender equality issues. We need more #womenasexperts in the parliament, see here  Women in the EU Parliament
Did you know that women make more than half (51 %) of the EU population? And yet, our share of political power in the EP is currently down to 36 %. Yes, even less than in spring 2017 (picture). We need to change that.
2. Encourage others to vote. Spread the word to your NFAs, friends, relatives, colleagues…The percentage of people voting in the EU elections is decreasing. In 2014 elections, only 42 % of the EU electorate voted.
#ThistimeImvoting campaign reminds us that “as Europeans we face many challenges, from migration to climate change, from youth unemployment to data privacy. We live in an ever more globalized, competitive world. At the same time, the Brexit referendum has demonstrated that the EU is not an irrevocable project. And while most of us take democracy for granted, it also seems under increasing threat, both in principle and practice.”
3. Support the EWL’s 50/50 campaign. “With the campaign 50/50: Women for Europe – Europe for Women, the European Women’s Lobby wants to achieve parity in the European Parliament, but also among the Commissioners and regarding the top EU jobs. We also want the EU to realize that ensuring equality between women and men and integrating a gender perspective in all policy and financial frameworks is an obligation of the European Union as per the EU Treaties.”
4. Sign the petition for a Feminist Europe on the EWL’s website.  
5. Utilize social mediaFeel free to use this photo in Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
5050 European parliament.png
6. After the elections, encourage your government to put forward a woman as your candidate for European Commissioner.  
As you can see, there weren’t too many of them in the 2014 – 2019 commission.
7. Also, remind your elected MEPs that gender equality deserves more than 1 % of the EU budget