Monitoring women in politics

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 directive and the EWL has high expectations of what is further foreseen on the topic of ’promoting gender equality’.

Overrepresentation of men

The European Women’s Lobby stays however dismayed with the fact that the Juncker Commission consists of only 9 women Commissioners out of 28. This is no progress in comparison to the Barroso Commission and clearly not a mirror of European society, of which more than half of the population is female. For the European Women’s Lobby it is a disgrace to democracy that this overrepresentation of men is still acceptable for the European institutions and the EU Member States.

We urge all European Commissioners-designate to prioritise gender equality in their own portfolios. Evidently for the European Women’s Lobby, a position for a Commissioner-designate known for sexist statements is simply unacceptable.

We expect the European Parliament to still carefully consider during the hearings whether the equal representation of women and men is met with the current proposal of the College of the EC.

Follow Commissioner-designate Jourová on Twitter [>]

*Mission Letter Věra Jourová

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Picture copyright European Commission

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