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Guy Verhofstadt endorses European Women’s Lobby’s elections Manifesto and 50/50 campaign

Thursday 8 May 2014, 12h30
European Women’s Lobby Headquarters, Brussels

[8 May 2014] Two weeks before the European elections, Guy Verhofstadt, candidate for the Presidency of the European Commission for the Liberal ALDE-party, officially backs the demands of the largest umbrella organisation of women’s associations in the European Union.

For the European Women’s Lobby (EWL) achieving substantive equality between women and men, promoting women’s rights and empowering women and girls should be an absolute priority of the European Union (EU) and its Member States.

The Manifesto "Act now for her future, commit to gender equality!" comprises the main concrete demands of the EWL for the coming European elections and calls for meaningful change towards equality for all. At the moment, it is endorsed by more than 40 MEPs and candidates.

The Manifesto makes three general demands: a comprehensive framework to achieve gender equality through notably the establishment of an EU Coordinator on women’s rights and gender equality; sustainable funding for gender equality; and credible EU policies on gender equality at international level.
It also focuses on the importance of promoting women’s economic independence, the urgency for firm measures to end violence against women including through designating 2016 as the EU Year to End Violence against women and girls, the guarantee of equality in paid and unpaid work for men and women, and the taking into account of women’s diversity in needs.

Via the demands of its 50/50 campaign, the EWL additionally seeks to tackle the under-representation of women in EU decision-making, which it believes to be a serious democratic deficit for the EU as a whole. The 50/50 campaign aims to promote therefore the equal representation of women and men in all European institutions and to put women’s rights and gender equality high on the EU political agenda. The EWL urges the future European Commission President to present a gender-balanced College and the European Parliament to elect a gender-balanced Commission and guarantee parity in all the decision-making positions within its house.

Mr Verhofstadt will sign the Manifesto in the presence of EWL President Viviane Teitelbaum at the premises of the European Women’s Lobby, Rue Hydraulique 18, 1210 Brussels, on May 8 at 12h30.

For further information please contact:
Elvira Buijink, Communications and Media Officer, European Women’s Lobby, 02 210 04 40

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