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The European Women’s Lobby (EWL) is the largest umbrella organisation of women’s associations in the European Union (EU), working to promote women’s rights and equality between women and men. EWL membership extends to organisations in all 28 EU member states and the three candidate countries, as well as to 20 European-wide bodies, representing a total of more than 2000 organisations.

 

Maternity Leave Directive: 4 years overdue, time to deliver now!

Posted on 19 September 2014

Maternity Leave Directive: 4 years overdue, time to deliver now!

[Brussels, 19 September 2014] In the beginning of the Summer, the European Commission threatened to withdraw the Directive in 2014 in the name of ‘red tape’. With the forthcoming hearings for the new European Commission, the EWL and its members will seize the opportunity to get the maternity leave directive back on the political agenda. As the Commission has an appointed Commissioner on gender equality we now call upon her to take action. We invite everyone to make their voice heard to make sure that the Maternity Directive is back on the European political agenda!

Women continue to earn 16% on average less than men and it is often at the moment of childbirth that the gender pay gap kicks in, with life- long often irreversible consequences, including the fact that women receive on average 40% less pension than men. Despite existing laws that protect pregnant workers, we know that more and more women today are experiencing discrimination in the work place as a direct result of (...)

At last, a Commissioner for Gender Equality

Posted on 17 September 2014

At last, a Commissioner for Gender Equality

[Brussels, 12 September 2014] The European Women’s Lobby (EWL) welcomes the appointment of Věra Jourová, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers & Gender Equality.

Not only a title

“Gender Equality” has been explicitly acknowledged in Ms Jourová’s title, which we believe to be a strong political statement. It was one of the EWL demands in our Manifesto for the European Parliamentary elections of May and we look very much forward to engage in dialogue with Ms Jourová on about how to ensure women’s rights and make gender equality become a reality in the EU.

In his ’Mission Letter’ to Věra Jourová, future Commission President Juncker mentions (very briefly) what is expected on the gender equality subject.

“Ensuring that, within the scope of EU competences, discrimination is fought and gender equality promoted, including by exploring how to unblock negotiations on the Commission proposal for the Horizontal Anti-Discrimination Directive.”*

This is very good news for the anti-discrimination (...)

The European Women’s Lobby is looking for voices of young women born in 1995!

Posted on 17 September 2014

The European Women's Lobby is looking for voices of young women born in 1995!

[Brussels, 11 September 2014] In 1995, in Beijing China, thousands of women from around the world came together to to call on all decision-makers to set goals to make the situation for women globally better and to finally achieve equality between women and men. The action of women’s organisations and positive political commitment led to the adoption of the Beijing Platform for Action, a fundamental human rights instrument endorsed by all countries.

Now, 20 years later, the European Women’s Lobby is looking for testimonies of young women!

Are you born in the year 1995? Then you have the same age as the Bejing Platform for Action!

We are curious to know what are the challenges for young women today in Europe? What could be changed? What would you like the EU to look like for young women?

Do you want to make your voice heard? Send an email to Elvira, at (...)

Women hold up half the sky: No gender mirroring in Team Juncker

Status quo with Barroso after toe-curling process

Posted on 5 September 2014

Women hold up half the sky: No gender mirroring in Team Juncker

[Brussels, 5 September 2014] Today future European Commission (EC) President Juncker published the full list of commissioner-candidates.

While the European Women’s Lobby (EWL) welcomes the fact that during the past weeks the number of proposed female Commissioners by the Member States increased from a shameful 4 to 9, the largest umbrella organisation of women’s associations in the European Union still believes that a stagnation in the numbers of women Commissioner is unacceptable for women across the EU. At this snail’s pace, European women will have to wait another half of a century and won’t even live to see parity.

Even the “Ten Or More” mark is not reached, as some former Commissioners, such as Neelie Kroes, asked for. The composition of the EC is clearly not a mirror of European society, of which more than half of the population is female and much more diverse than the current proposed Commissioners.

Moreover, there are still (too) many member states which have never appointed (...)

We are back! Full or energy and optimism!

Posted on 5 September 2014

We are back! Full or energy and optimism!

[Brussels, 5 september 2014] After a summer with ups and downs for women’s rights in Europe, the European Women’s Lobby (EWL) is back with its 2-weekly newsletter.

Summer 2014 was first warm and full of optimistic news; the entry into force of the Istanbul Convention, the protests of smiling women in Turkey, a positive evaluation of the Norwegian legislation on prostitution, and for the EWL itself a successful 50/50 campaign wrap up and the full funding of its project "Young women leaders are voices for girls & women".

But then the tides turned. The weather in Europe was cloudy and rainy and there was the European Commission’s proposal to shelve the Maternity Leave Directive. As EWL, we acted immediately with the new European Parliament, Civil Society and Trade Union partners, and the media, to raise the alarm; we are now waiting for news on the issue. The European Commission itself struggles to include women in its College and now remains at a status quo regarding gender (...)

The potential new European Commission: back to the future?

No thank you! Not my EU.

Posted on 1 September 2014

The potential new European Commission: back to the future?

[Brussels, 28 August 2014] The composition of the new European Commission is going to be confirmed at the meeting of the EU Heads of States this weekend. Almost all Member States have however already proposed their candidates for Commisioner and at the moment only 4 women have been designated out of 28. This means that not even 15% of the Commission would be women, less than half as many as in the outgoing Commission Barroso.

For the European Women’s Lobby (EWL) the question arises: is this the Europan Union we want?

The EWL, the largest umbrella organisation of women’s associations in the European Union (EU), is simply outraged. This is a clear disgrace to democracy and equality between women and men; ideals that form the core values of the EU. Women’s rights organisations across Europe cannot accept that the future Commission is not representing the diversity of the European society, by obviously ignoring 50% of the population. The EWL and its members say loud and clear: “No (...)

Vacancy: Consultant to support EWL Secretary General for EWL Strategy, August 2014-August 2015 (deadline 18 August 2014)

Posted on 25 July 2014

Vacancy: Consultant to support EWL Secretary General for EWL Strategy, August 2014-August 2015 (deadline 18 August 2014)

[Brussels, 25 July 2014] The European Women’s Lobby (EWL) is looking for a consultant to support the Secretary General in designing and implementing a process of developing the next Strategy over the next 12 months August 2014-August 2015.

The current Strategic Plan of EWL (for the French version click here) operates from 2011-2015. EWL wishes to develop a new Strategy for the period 2016-2020 in a process that enhances and maximizes the participation and engagement of EWL member organisations. This will involve member organisations, governing bodies as well as the Secretariat of EWL. It will include consultation and inputs from stakeholders.

The new Secretary General is looking for a consultant to help support the process of developing the Strategy over the next 12 months August 2014-August 2015, through a combination of designing and implementing consultation of members, facilitating stakeholder engagement and meetings, and producing updates and synthesis reports.

We are (...)

Vacancy: EWL Policy Officer, temporary full-time position, September 2014-January 2015 (deadline 18 August)

Posted on 25 July 2014

Vacancy: EWL Policy Officer, temporary full-time position, September 2014-January 2015 (deadline 18 August)

[Brussels, 25 July 2014] The EWL is seeking to recruit a temporary full-time Policy Officer to work as part of its Policy Team. The specific tasks, as described in the attached application form, will be carried out in the EWL Secretariat in Brussels under the supervision of the EWL Secretary General, and start as soon as possible from 1 September 2014.

Job Title: Policy Officer Duration of contract: September 2014- January 2015 (4 months), full-time. Accountable to: EWL Secretary General Location: EWL Secretariat, Brussels Starting date: September 2014 Deadline for applications: 18 August 2014

NB: CVs and applications sent by post will not be considered.

Want to exchange on a renewed Europe? Join the 2nd Citizens Summit in Brussels, 23-24 September 2014

Posted on 25 July 2014

Want to exchange on a renewed Europe? Join the 2nd Citizens Summit in Brussels, 23-24 September 2014

[Brussels, 22 July 2014] Do you want to join other citizens and civil society organisations to exchange about a renewed Europe? to challenge Europe’s growth obsession and propose a more accountable, citizen-oriented, human rights and value based Europe? Then the Citizens Summit is the place for your voice to be heard. Join us on 23-24 September in Brussels !

The European Citizens Summit is an annual conference organised by the EU Civil Society Contact Group, aiming to envision a Europe for and from citizens. In 2014, the second edition of the Citizens Summit is entitled "Beyond the growth obsession - rights, justice and democracy for a renewed Europe" and will gather citizens, activists, NGOs from all over Europe and beyond. On 10 July, a webinar took place to present the Summit and launch its new website citizenssummit.eu.

The Citizens Summit will propose interactive and participative workshops and sessions, to discuss our main demands, about a new Europe for and from citizens: (...)

European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) and EWL publish joint letter to oppose European Commission withdrawal intent of Maternity Leave Directive

Posted on 25 July 2014

European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) and EWL publish joint letter to oppose European Commission withdrawal intent of Maternity Leave Directive

[Brussels, 14 July 2014] The European Women’s Lobby and ETUC, the European Trade Union Confederations call on Members of the European Parliament to support for the revision of the Maternity Leave Directive.

Dear MEP,

The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) representing millions of working women across Europe and the European Women’s Lobby (EWL) representing over 2000 women’s organisations are alarmed that the Commission is considering withdrawing the proposal to strengthen maternity leave and the rights of women who have recently given birth and/or are breastfeeding, commonly referred to as the Maternity Leave or Pregnant Workers’ Directive, as part of its ‘REFIT’ agenda. In view of the Council and Commission statement to be presented at the European Parliament plenary on 15 July we urgently call on you to oppose this proposed withdrawal and to reiterate the Parliament’s support for better maternity rights and its full commitment to work towards a compromise with the Council so (...)

 

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