European Women’s Lobby

Unequal Pay Day – call for improved gender equality in the workplace

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31 October marks the Equal Pay Day, the day from which women effectively work for free until the end of the year compared to their male counterparts. The gender pay gap currently stands at 16,2% in the European Union, exceeding 20% in countries like Estonia and Czech Republic. This adds to the gender inequalities women face across their life-cycle and affects each one of them differently, depending on their race, ethnicity, migratory status, disability, level of education, location and other social or personal circumstances. 

European Women’s Lobby and University Women of Europe are calling for increased efforts to end the gender pay gap. Even though the principle of equal pay for equal work was enshrined in the 1957 founding Treaty of the EU, European women continue to face discrimination in the job market and to earn less than men.

In addition, because women are paid less, they contribute less to their pensions and this translates into a wide pension gap and higher risk of poverty for older women. Their pension income is negatively influenced both by the gender pay gap and by the time spent out of the labor-market to care for children and other dependent family members, together with women’s over representation in part-time work and in low paid sectors of the economy.

To effectively tackle the gender pay gap, it is necessary to address its multiple and complex root causes, starting from the lack of high quality, accessible and affordable care services. As we have seen, women are penalized throughout their lives for the things they do to keep society functioning, that is care responsibilities. There are a number of important mechanisms already in place or in the pipe-line at the EU-level to lift this weight from women’s shoulders, and the EU Institutions need to demonstrate political will in putting them to use without delay.

One such measure is the so-called “Work-life Balance Directive”, for which the Council agreed its negotiating position (general approach) in June. The Proposal entails the strengthening of parental leave by making the 2 months period non-transferable, the introduction of a carers’ leave and the extension of flexible working arrangement for carers. While the scope of these measures has been sensibly reduced in comparison with the original Commission’s proposal, their adoption would enable women to retain their economic independence while having children and to return swiftly to payed work.

Therefore, we call for a swift adoption of the Proposal for a Directive on Work-Life Balance, followed by enforcement and monitoring. While it is not a magic wand, we believe that this would be a first step towards closing the gender pay gap and ensuring a more equal society for everybody.

Read the statement by the European Commission
Find here the action by PES Women for Unequal Pay Day

For More Information

The gender pay gap in the EU

Work Life Balance Eurobarometer

Work Life Balance proposal

EIGE’s gender equality factsheets based on the results of EIGE’s Gender Equality Index 2017.

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European Women’s Forum

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European Women’s Forum is a dynamic five days of feminist activities. The events of the week, from EWL General Assembly to the public street event “Loud and united to end violence against women and girls” , will be a chance to come together and celebrate the success of the European’s Women’s Movement. 

 

General Assembly agenda and documents 

This year all documents for EWL General Assembly will ONLY be available through EWL members’ forum, the Living Room (and not sent as attachments). The draft agenda, the applications for EWL candidate Board Members, all the documents for the GA  are available on the agenda page, except for the 2017 Emergency Motions paper which will be made available this week.

Public event and street action “Loud and United” on 8 June, followed by EWL members’ dinner

 

This year, the European Women’s Lobby is marking the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the EWL Observatory on violence against women and girls (VAWG). The Observatory is a unique structure that brings together more than 30 experts, professionals, women’s rights defenders, and front-line NGOs activists, from all over Europe. On 11 May 2017, the EU publicly declared its intention to sign and ratify the Istanbul Convention, the first legally binding treaty in Europe that criminalises different forms of violence against women. With this declaration, the EU sends the world a message about its commitment to fighting the violation of women’s rights.

On 8 June, EWL wants to give visibility from Belgium and around Europe to their tireless work and achievements at the forefront of the fight against VAWG.

A conference with the EWL Observatory on violence against women and girls and globally recognised feminist activist, Gloria Steinem, takes place on 8 June from 14.00 to 16.30, followed by a street demonstration starting at 17:00, Mont des Arts, Place de l’Albertine, 1000 Brussels (Facebook event : https://www.facebook.com/events/1967859493432979/)

All the information you need about the event including the agenda is also available for EWL members on the Living Room: https://womenlobbyforum.org/ viewtopic.php?f=57&t=93  

After the demonstration, EWL Members are then getting together with Gloria Steinem for dinner at Brasserie de la Presse from 18.30. 

Find the full agenda and other information on EWL website: www.womenlobby.org/Gloria-Steinem-in-Brussels-8-June-2017

Other updates

 You might want to sign and share with your networks a call on to a CSO 6th scenario for the Future of Europe from the SDGWatch Europe and Friends of the Earth:

https://womenlobbyforum.org/ viewtopic.php?f=12&t=91 

EWL at CSW61

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Like every year, the European Women’s Lobby (EWL) will take part to the 61st session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (13-24 March). EWL membership is very active during CSW61, organising side events and influencing the negotiations on the Conclusions which should be adopted by the UN member states at the end of the session.

This year’s priority theme is “Women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work” and the emerging issue is ’The empowerment of Indigenous women”. Ahead of CSW61, the EWL had sent, together with its members, a joint statement highlighting the situation of women domestic workers. We have also made comments on the zero draft of the conclusions.

During CSW, the EWL is organising two events :

  • A side event co-organised with Belgium and Iceland, on “The Nordic Model on prostitution: a key step to ensure girls’ and young women’s economic empowerment”, on Wednesday 15 March, 8.15-9.30am, in conference room 8 of the UN.

  • A parallel event co-sponsored by NAWO Youth, Unizon, Wagggs, the European YWCA and Rights4Girls, on “#HerFuture: Challenges & opportunities for girls’ and young women’s economic empowerment”, on Wednesday 15 March, 2.30-4pm, at the Salvation Army (downstairs).

Other EWL members’ events:

EWL Secretariat members will also be speaking at:

EWL will take part to the EU-briefing, and will co-facilitate the meetings of the caucus for Europe and North America:

  • Wednesday 15 March, 6.15-7.45pm, Boss room Church Center
  • Monday 20 March, 6.15-7.45pm, 2nd floor Church Center

The list of NGO events is here. The list of official side events is here.

UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women – Call for Submissions

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The Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, Ms. Dubravka Šimonović took up function as Special Rapporteur on 1 August 2015 and intends to, inter alia, focus on the legal and policy frameworks of her mandate and the international human rights mechanisms to discuss the gap in incorporating and implementing the international and regional standards related to violence against women.
The Special Rapporteur considers that the discussion on the adequacy of the international legal framework on violence against women initiated by the former mandate holder should continue and she wishes to secure views from different stakeholders, including States, National Human Rights Institutions, Non-governmental organizations, as well as members of academia.
She has launched a consultation on the gap of transposing and implementing international and regional standards on violence against women.
Taking into consideration the important role that different stakeholders play in reinforcing universal human rights standards, she would be very interested to receive input and views on the following questions:
1.    Do you consider that there is a need for a separate legally binding treaty on violence against women with its separate monitoring body?
2.    Do you consider that there is an incorporation gap of the international or regional human rights norms and standards?
3.    Do you believe that there is a lack of implementation of the international and regional legislation into the domestic law?
4.    Do you think that there is a fragmentation of policies and legislation to address gender-based violence?
5.    Could you also provide your views on measures needed to address this normative and implementation gap and to accelerate prevention and elimination of violence against women?
European Women’s Lobby is planning to send a EWL Contribution and, as it is an important consultation, we would like to ask to send your input and views on the questions asked by the UN Special Rapporteur. EWL preliminary comments/clarifications are the following ones:
Q1:  The EWL does not have a specific position on this issue specific point yet, so it will be very interesting to have your views on this. It can be interesting to highlight the positive aspects of the Istanbul Convention but also what it is missing.
Q2: By incorporation gap, we understand if international or regional human rights norms and standards have been signed/ratified. We would appreciate very much if you can give examples of international/regional standards have not been signed/ratified or if there have been major reservations.
Q3:  By lack of implementation of the international understand into the domestic law we understand gaps in the transposition of the international/regional legislation into the domestic law. Again, it will be great if you can give examples of gaps in transposition into legislation and also gaps in implementation.
Q4:  We will push for the use of the term “violence against women” in all the contribution. EWL will argue that there is fragmentation of policies and legislation and different levels of protection of women in Europe.
Q5:  Your ideas will be very welcomed, and it would be good to link this reply to the reply given to the first question.
Please, send your contributions to boarduwe@gmail.com and rosales@womenlobby.org. 
We would be very grateful to receive your replies by the 20th of September, so that it will be enough  time to compile all the replies into the EWL Contribution.
We will send you back the final EWL Contribution by the 28th of September so that you can use it as well if you want to send your own contributions on behalf of your organisations. The final deadline for the UN to receive the contributions is the 1st of October.
Thank you very much in advance,
many regards from the Board,
Roxana Elena Petrescu
Secretary General

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Call for experts EWL Observatory on violence against women

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EWL webinar on Women and Armed Conflicts – September 21, the International Day of Peace

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EWL Webinar - Women and Armed Conflict (2)

European Women’s Lobby is hosting a webinar on Women and Armed Conflict on Monday, 21st September, the International Day of Peace, 3pm-4pm (Brussels time).

The webinar “Mobilising for a Feminist Approach to Peace and Security” is part  of activities during this Year of Action on Beijing+20. It will give a prominent voice to many EWL members, at national and European level, and EWL partners.

Registration: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8865045964706950146

Moderator: Pierrette Pape, EWL Policy and Campaigns Director
• Technical facilitator: Oonagh Eastmond, EWL Policy Assistant

Agenda

Welcome and introduction, with presentation of EWL factsheet from EWL report on Beijing+20 ‘From words to action’

Section 1: Women’s organisations mobilise for peace and security!

Our Balkan members on the Women’s Tribunal in Sarajevo

  • On violence against women in conflict

Women’s role in post-conflict reconstruction: Northern Ireland Women’s European Platform (NIWEP)

  • On the implementation of UNSCR 1325 in Northern Ireland.

Women at the core of peace negotiations: Cyprus Women’s Lobby

  • On the inclusion of women in peace negotiationsA feminist approach to justice:

Section 2: Towards a feminist approach of peace and security

Feminist leadership in peace and security: WIIS (Women in International Security)

  • What does a feminist perspective to peace and security and women in leadership look like?

Protecting the human rights of women in armed conflicts: Global Justice Center

  • Campaign of the on access to abortion services for women victims of rape in war

A critical feminist perspective of military spending: WILPF (Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom)

  • Campaign ‘You get what you pay for’ and WILPF Video: Security: What is it?

The current refugee crisis: Hungarian Women’s Lobby

  • The gender dimension

Discussion and final words from the guests, including their most important recommendations.

We hope that you can follow it, but also share the information in your networks and channels.