Posted on 12 December 2013
[Joint statement of 11 civil society organisations, Brussels, 11 December 2013] Differences on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) between the respective political groups of the European Parliament (EP) proved irreconcilable on Human Rights Day yesterday during the vote on the landmark SRHR Report. The report, authored by Portuguese MEP Edite Estrela of the Socialists and Democrats Group, offered MEPs an opportunity to mark the occasion by advancing the EP’s supportive position on sexual and reproductive rights, including access to accurate information about contraceptive methods. However, after a well-funded and deliberately misleading defamatory campaign, the opportunity was narrowly missed by a margin of just seven votes. But MEPs also conclusively rejected an opposing motion tabled by the Europe of Freedom and Democracy Group, which proposed greater restrictions on access to safe abortion and other retrograde anti-choice measures, by an overwhelming 548 to 95 (...)
Posted on 6 December 2013
[Brussels, 5 December 2013] The European Women’s Lobby (EWL) warmly welcomes the vote of the French Parliament yesterday, which adopted a law proposal aiming at abolishing the system of prostitution. After two years of debate, French parliamentarians decided to support a new legislation aiming at supporting prostituted persons and considering prostitution as an obstacle to gender equality and a violation of human rights and dignity.
The law will address all actors involved in the system of prostitution, in a comprehensive way. Persons in prostitution won’t be criminalized anymore and on the contrary, will be offered alternatives to exit the system of prostitution. The demand for prostitution is recognized as the main driver of the exploitation, and the purchase of sex will therefore be criminalized. The fight against all forms of procuring and trafficking is strengthened, highlighting the links between prostitution and trafficking. Finally, prevention and education actions will be (...)
Posted on 29 November 2013
[Brussels, 29 November 2013] The last three days, Policy Officer Karima Zahi and Fundraising Coordinator and Policy Officer, Serap Altinisik, took part in the summit on “Women in Parliaments Global Forum” in the European Parliament.
The high level conference, bringing together female politicians and activists, was held in order to celebrate the introduction of women’s right to vote in New Zealand 120 years ago. The participants came together to discuss issues like the current crisis and its trigger, as well as how women’s leadership could be different from men’s and how to increase the only slowly changing number of women in political decision-making.
The EWL policy officers did not only actively participate in the discussions, they also used this opportunity to present our 50/50 campaign and Mentoring Programme and collected signatures to support our Joint Declaration, asking for Parity Democracy in the next European parliament.
One of the first to sign the Joint Declaration and to (...)
Posted on 29 November 2013
[Brussels, 28 November 2013] To mark International Day for the Elimination of Violence against women, the European Women’s Lobby launched on the 25th November a video-clip to speak out and draw attention to the fact that rape needs to be seriously addressed by the authorities in terms of access to justice, prevention and support to victims. As the video illustrates, the Istanbul Convention is a tool for change!
Please, share this video in your social networks! #actagainstrape2013 #IstanbulConvention @europeanwomen @CoE.
The EWL also issued a press release (that can be downloaded here) to draw attention on the fact that rape continues to be one of the most devastating forms of gender-based violence, yet it is too often a taboo subject and thus remains shrouded in silence.
On the occasion of the International Human Rights Day, 10 December, the EWL will held an event "Promote Human rights! Act against rape!" at the European Parliament in Strasbourg. Find more information following (...)
Posted on 21 November 2013
[Brussels, 20 November 2013] The news about the adoption of quotas legislation during the current coalition negotiations in Germany on 18.11.2013 to reach 30% women on non-executive boards by 2016 was decided in Germany two days ago, the European Parliament (EP) adopted on 20/11/2013 the draft European directive on “improving the gender balance among non-executive directors of companies listed on stock exchanges and related measures”.
The resolution was adopted by 459 votes in favour to 148 against and 81 abstentions, which shows the strong support of European Parliamentarians to this legislation. While the 5 largest political groups in the Parliament (EPP, S&D, ALDE, Greens and GUE) supported the directive, the European Conservatives and Reformists group as well as the European Freedom and Democracy group voted in a large part against it. One of the main change made by the European Parliament to the original European Commission proposal, recommend also targeting companies with (...)
Posted on 15 November 2013
[Brussels, 15 November 2013] 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 (...)
Posted on 14 November 2013
[Brussels, 15 November 2013] 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 30 European countries.
This publication, available in English and French, 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.
With European parliamentary elections and a (...)
Posted on 14 November 2013
[Brussels, 14 November 2013] The European Women’s Lobby (EWL), together with partner NGOs, has issued a statement for the 58th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), which will take place in New York on 10-21 March 2014. The priority theme is “Challenges and achievements in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls”.
As this session will take place at a crucial time of the global discussion on the new development agenda which will take over from the Millennium Developments Goals (MDGs), expiring in 2015, the EWL and its partners have decided to focus their statement on what women’s organisations expect from the new global development agenda. Moroever, the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) will, in 2014, celebrate 20 years of its Programme of Action and of promotion of women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights; 2015 will also see the celebration of the 20 years of the Beijing Declaration and (...)
Posted on 16 October 2013
(Brussels 16 October) The first ever Women’s Congress in Hungary since the democratic transition is organized by the Hungarian Women’s Lobby. The event is inspired by the success of the Polish Congress of Women (Kongres Kobiet). The Polish Congress has been organized yearly since 2009, getting high visibility and media attention, mobilizing and uniting a large number of women from all over the country, and generating legal and policy changes in Poland.
The Women’s Congress aims to bring gender equality into the spotlight, to the forefront of public discourse before the parliamentary and local government elections, and the elections to the European Parliament, all to be held in 2014. The main goal of the Women’s Congress is twofold: to make political parties – as well as policy makers – accountable for and responsive to gender equality as a democratic value, by lobbying and pushing them to have a say on women’s rights in their communication, programs and campaigns; as well as to mobilize (...)
Posted on 8 October 2013
(Brussels, 1 October 2013) Today, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) gathered for a joint press event in the European Parliament, to express their view that prostitution is an obstacle to equality between women and men and a violation of human rights. Coming from different countries and all major political groups in the European Parliament, 53 MEPs have signed the Brussels’ Call ‘Together for a Europe free from prostitution’.
Initiated by the European Women’s Lobby (EWL) and its partners, the Brussels’ Call had been launched in December 2012 in the European Parliament, and endorsed by around 200 women’s rights NGOs, coming from 27 Member States and five other countries (Norway, Iceland, Macedonia, Québec, Argentina).
“Anyone who knows anything about the reality of prostitution for the hundreds of thousands of women in Europe whom it has trapped cannot fail to endorse this call for urgent action from the EU and its member states”, says Viviane Teitelbaum, President of the European (...)