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POLITICO EU Influence: Women’s lobbying group ranks priorities

Read the full version of this article at POLITICO Europe.

by Lili Bayer

WOMEN’S LOBBY IN FOCUS: EU Influence caught up with Réka Sáfrány, who recently took over as president of the European Women’s Lobby. The group currently represents over 2,000 women’s organizations across Europe. “Our work concentrates on building a feminist Europe — basically where women can fully benefit from all their rights and be protected from discrimination and violence,” said Sáfrány, who also serves as chair of the Hungarian Women’s Lobby. The group is currently focusing on two areas, according to Sáfrány.

The first — pay transparency: The European Commission in March rolled out a pay-transparency proposal that would, among other things, get workers more access and rights to others’ compensation, while forcing big companies to report gender pay gaps. Now, Sáfrány said, “we are currently working with the Parliament to ensure that all of the women in Europe can access transparent salary scales in their workplace, and that they are supported by trade unions.” And, she noted, the group will work to convince member countries to agree to “lower the threshold of companies having to provide transparency on their salaries, and to ensure trade unions’ role is fully recognized.”

The second — combating violence: Sáfrány is also looking ahead to the Commission’s upcoming proposal on curbing violence against women and girls. “What we are calling for is the inclusion of this into the list of EU crimes,” she said, “because we think that the seriousness of violence against women and girls must be recognized throughout the EU, and especially after the COVID pandemic.”

Broader focus:
Then there’s the lobby group’s basic, yet pervasive campaign to make the EU include women in the development of all its key initiatives. “We would like to ensure that the women’s perspective is adopted, and integrated” into all EU policies and budgets, Sáfrány said.

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EWL event "Progress towards a Europe free from all forms of male violence" to mark the 10th aniversary of the Istanbul Convention, 12 May 2021.

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