Mentoring for change

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Feminist Friends




Funded by the Progress Programme of the European Union

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.


EWL Beijing+20 in January - Women’s economic independence: the foundation of all rights

Posted on 30 January 2015

EWL Beijing+20 in January - Women's economic independence: the foundation of all rights

[Brussels, 5 January 2014] Did you know that at the current pace of progress, it will take 70 years to close the gender pay gap and 40 years to see equal share of housework in Europe? That women are 4 times more likely than men to work part-time? And that women bear a disproportionate share of tax burdens?

In January, the European Women’s Lobby (EWL) focuses on Women and the Economy, as part of its Beijing+20 campaign. Read and share EWL’s factsheet about Women and the Economy, which is part of EWL report “From words to action” and comprises our key demands to the European Union and the Member States.

Each month in 2015 we will focus on one of the 12 critical areas of the Beijing Platform for Action. Join us by following us on social media, disseminating our factsheets and report, coming to our events and the activities of our members if you can! Because all our members will be mobilising throughout Europe to make 2015 a critical year towards making all commitments of the Beijing (...)

LAUNCH! European Women’s Voice

Posted on 22 January 2015

LAUNCH! European Women's Voice

The European women’s Lobby is launching the first publication of the year.

The European Women’s Voice: Women’s Economic Independence in Times of Austerity.

Read about how women are affected by austerity measures around Europe and discover creative, feminist, economic models that can provide solutions.

Gather your friend(s) and #PlayTheGame at the end of the publication to get an idea of the life of a women hit by austerity measures.

Read it here:

Download it in PDF here.

Join our launch event for 2015 with the European Women’s Lobby!

Posted on 14 January 2015

Join our launch event for 2015 with the European Women's Lobby!

Happy feminist holidays!

Posted on 23 December 2014

Happy feminist holidays!

From the EWL staff in Brussels!

Joanna, Colette, Mary, Malpuri, Jessica, Serap, Marion, Elvira, Valentina, Sophie, Emily, Pierrette and Mary-Ann!

Re-live the most memorable moments here:

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Women’s rights are not negotiable!

The European Women’s Lobby urges EU Ministers to push forward the Maternity Leave, Women on Boards and EU Equal Treatment Directives

Posted on 12 December 2014

Women's rights are not negotiable!

[Brussels, 10 December 2014] On Thursday 11th December, the Council of the EU will discuss the Maternity Leave Directive, the Women on Boards Directive and the EU Directive on Equal Treatment. In a letter sent to the 28 Permanent Representations to the EU, the European Women’s Lobby calls on EU Ministers to take action to unblock the negotiations of these crucial Directives for women’s rights and gender equality.

Tomorrow, the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO) of the EU will disucss three crucial topics for women’s rights and gender equality:

The Maternity Leave Directive

The Women on Boards Directive

The EU Equal Treatment Directive

The European Women’s Lobby sent a letter to the Permanent Representations of the 28 Member States to urge them to push forward these issues.

RE: European Women’s Lobby concerns regarding EPSCO Council meeting on 11 December: Maternity Leave Directive, Women on Boards Directive, and Equal Treatment Directive (...)

Civil Society view regarding pending EU legislation 2014 – response to BusinessEurope

Posted on 12 December 2014

Civil Society view regarding pending EU legislation 2014 – response to BusinessEurope

[Brussels, 5 December 2014] The European Women’s Lobby and 19 other gender equality and environmental organisations, including trade unions and consumer groups, call on the European Commission to ignore a hit list of proposals that business lobbyists want ditched by the new executive.

The undersigned organisations, representing diverse public interests, strongly oppose the worrying deregulatory tendency under the headline of ‘cutting red tape’. The open letter is a response to the statement issued by BusinessEurope on 25th November under the heading ‘Business input to the screening exercise by vice-president Timmermans’.

Find the Open Letter to First Vice-President of the European Comission Frans Timmermans here.

The European Women’s Lobby specifically reacted to claims made by Business Europe on the Women on Boards and Maternity Leave legislation. Read here EWL’s clarifications.

Gender balance in boards The proposal should not be withdrawn but speeded up. Not only is parity in (...)

Bringing a feminist perspective into the International Civil Society Week (18-24 November 2014, South Africa)

Posted on 28 November 2014

Bringing a feminist perspective into the International Civil Society Week (18-24 November 2014, South Africa)

The European Women’s Lobby participated in Civicus International Civil Society Week, which took place in Johannesburg 18-24 November 2014. It was an inspiring and exciting few days which brought together 600 civil society leaders and activists, from more than 100 countries, to tackle the world’s most pressing challenges. Under the banner of “Citizen Action, People Power”, the weeklong series of events was an incredible global gathering of inspired thinkers, innovation leaders and influential organisations.

The EWL was present, through two EWL Secretariat representatives, Pierrette Pape and Joanna Maycock. Pierrette and Joanna were able to lead and participate in a number of events and activities that took place under the umbrella of the International Civil Society Week, to bring a feminist perspective to the discussions about citizens action, and civil society leadership. We were able to connect with an incredible range of women’s organisations, large NGOs and individual activists, (...)

Open Letter to Dr Denis Mukwege, winner of the Sakharov Prize 2014

Posted on 26 November 2014

Open Letter to Dr Denis Mukwege, winner of the Sakharov Prize 2014

Dear Dr Mukwege,

We are writing on behalf of the European Women’s Lobby (EWL) to offer you our warmest congratulations on receiving the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in recognition of your lifesaving work with victims of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Your extraordinary and outstanding work with survivors of rape and sexual violence serves as an inspiration to all women and women’s groups around the world, including the EWL and its 2000 member organisations.

By bringing to light a highly taboo topic and empowering survivors of rape and sexual violence, you greatly motivate us to continue with our work. Indeed, working on rape and sexual violence has been a central pillar of our work since our beginnings in 1990, as of course this manifestation of violence against women knows no national boundaries. We would also like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support of our 5050 Campaign for Democracy which sought to achieve gender parity in (...)

International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

European Women’s Lobby calls for a Europe free from violence against women & girls!

Posted on 25 November 2014

International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

[Brussels 25 November] Every year on November 25, under the lead of the United Nations, activists around the world join forces for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. They want to raise awareness and trigger action to end the global pandemic of violence against women and girls, which is unmistakably the most widespread violation of women’s human rights.

For the European Women’s Lobby (EWL) this day also signifies a moment to look backwards and forwards in order to make up the balance in the struggle for a Europe free from violence against women.

Tools and data

When we look backwards we can say that over the last two years, the European Union (EU) has adopted new tools which can be used by women to gain protection and support: the European Protection Order (guaranteeing women’s protection when they travel in the EU) and the victims’ rights directive (including a gender perspective). Also, the two EU agencies dedicated to fundamental rights and gender (...)

Sainte Nicolette 2014

Posted on 23 November 2014

Sainte Nicolette 2014

You are warmly invited to Sainte Nicolette 2014, the fourth edition of the European Women’s Lobby’s annual festive party!

This friendly gathering will be an opportunity to toast to the end of another year of feminist action and activism all over Europe – and to bring in 2015, where we will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action as well as the 25th anniversary of the EWL.

Join us for a light-hearted evening of live music and plenty of good cheer on 3 December 2014 from 18:30 in Café Kafka – Rue des Poissonniers 21, 1000 Brussels (METRO Bourse). We will be asking for a donation of at least 5€ to support the EWL’s campaigns.

Please register below and for further information do not hesitate to contact Marion at

You can also find the event on Facebook here.

We look forward to seeing you on 3 December!

Please register here to attend Sainte Nicolette on Wednesday December 3, 2014.

Sainte (...)


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