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Gender equality: MEPs work on strategy to offer men and women the same opportunities

[News of the European Parliament, Brussels, 14 October 2014]

With the glass ceiling far from shattered and the pay gap not any closer to being bridged, much still needs to be done to achieve equality between women and men. The gender equality committee discussed the progress made in 2013 with experts, which will be fed into an upcoming report by Marc Tarabella, a Belgian member of the S&D group. They also debated a report being written by Maria Noichl, a German member of the S&D group, proposing a strategy for improving equality after 2015.

What still goes wrong

Every year, the gender equality committee adopts a report on the progress made towards achieving equality between women and men. Mr Tarabella is writing the report looking back at 2013. Experts were invited to the hearing on 13 October to contribute to the text. "We want a report focusing on progress, but also on the concerns that we still have concerning equality,” Mr Tarabella said, when opening the meeting.

Genoveva Tisheva, managing director of the Bulgarian Gender Research Foundation and an expert on violence against women, outlined several problems such as social exclusion, human trafficking and violence towards migrant women. She stressed that member states failed to assume full responsibility when people’s rights are being violated and called for better monitoring of EU funding for tackling gender-based violence as often the money is not used correctly.

Meanwhile Claudia Menne, confederal secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation, said that making gender equality a part of all policy areas could be a powerful concept, but that it was often exempt from measures taken to tackle the crisis.

...And what should be done about it

A separate own-initiative report by Ms Noichl will provide the Parliament’s input to the European Commission on the new EU strategy for gender equality 2015-2020. She said ahead of the hearing: "The initiative report is the chance for Parliament to make suggestions to the new Commission on how to act for the sake of gender equality in the coming five years on topics like the situation of women in the labour market, violence, health issues and issues of multiple discrimination.”

On the photo: Genoveva Tisheva and Claudia Menne

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