Posted on 4 July 2014
The final conference of the EWL 50/50 and Parity Democracy for Europe Campaign: No Modern European Democracy without Gender Equality!
Hosted by MEP Ulrike Lunacek, with a video message from Gloria Steinem, American feminist, journalist, social and political activist.
This event will address the outcomes of the 2014 European Parliament elections from a gender perspective and aims to evaluate the impact of the Parity Democracy and EWL 50/50 Campaign.
Newly elected MEPs, governmental bodies, academics, NGOs and journalists will find answers to questions such as: How to ensure elected women are in top positions within the European Parliament? How to mainstream gender equality within the Media? And how to ensure the diversity of women within politics?
With a keynote speech by US speaker Jessica N. Grounds, former Executive Director and Co-Founder of Running Start. She is also the founder and principal strategist for Solid Grounds Strategy, a firm she created to consult women candidates who run for office for the first time.
Date: 9 July 13h < 18h (Starting with a network lunch)
Venue : European Parliament Brussels - Altiero Spinelli Building ROOM A1 G-3
To attend the event, please register via the form below.
Please contact Gina Horst at ✉email@example.com ; 02/210 04 41 or Serap Altinisik at ✉firstname.lastname@example.org ; 02/210 04 27 with any questions and requests for further information.
Posted on 30 June 2014
[Brussels, 30 June 2014] By the end of last week, the Council of Ministers finally decided to nominate Jean-Claude Juncker as President of the European Commission. Following the democratic decision taken by the European voters, giving the majority to the European People’s Party, it was a necessary step. But having now nominated a man as the President of the Commission one of the most influential positions at the EU institutions, we urge the Member States to use the opportunity to establish an equal representation of women and men in EU institutions by equally appointing women and men to the other 30 top-positions of the Union: 28 Commissioners, President of the Parliament and President of the Council of Ministers as well as the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
As Parity is one of European Women’s Lobby (EWL) main demands of the 50/50 campaign, we continue urging national governments to propose one women and one man for each Commissioner position, as well as for the Presidency of the Council, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the Presidency of the European Parliament. The political groups inside the Parliament do have the same responsibility: ensuring gender parity in the nomination of chairpersons within Committees, as well as in the composition of the Bureaus.
Especially in times of crisis, where trust and credibility are at stake with regards to the EU and its institutions, we need a European Union that represents its societal diversity, including parity between women and men. Furthermore the EU needs a strong message to back women’s rights and gender equality which are undergoing a backlash in many ways across the European society. The designated Commissioner Juncker sees an urgent need to establish a Commissioner for Internet but oversees the urgent need to include half of the population, namely women in the College of the Commission. The European Women’s Lobby asks for the instauration of a Commissioner position for gender equality and women’s rights which would give a strong signal for gender equality across Europe and beyond.
Let’s make sure that this can happen. Go for 50/50!
Posted on 12 June 2014
[Brussels, 4 June 2014] Europe’s small steps towards 50/50 Number of women in the European Parliament increases by 1,75%: at this pace it will take half a century until we reach gender parity
One week after the European Parliament elections, the European Women’s Lobby (EWL) and its members has been analysing the election results with regards to the representation of elected women elected to the European Parliament. The percentage of women in the EP, the only directly elected institution of the European Union (EU), stands at almost 37%, this is an increase of 1,75% in comparison to the European elections in 2009.
EWL Secretary General, Joanna Maycock, states “with this snail’s pace it will be another half a century before the European Parliament would reach gender parity in 52 years, despite the fact that women make up more than half the EU’s population.”
GROUPS ANALYSIS - EPP stays behind.
EWL-analysis based on preliminary results by europedecides.eu/results/
A two-speed Europe for parity
The election results show a clear picture with regards to political families’ commitments to reach parity. The conservative and far right parties are lagging behind in comparison to center and left parties. During its 5050 campaign “No Modern European Democracy without Gender Equality” ahead of the EP election in 2014 the EWL demanded best-fit quota systems according to the national electoral systems. Evidence shows that whether a quota/parity system reaches its objectives depends largely on effective sanctions. A conclusion which has been confirmed through the results of the EU elections 2014. In this sense for example the S&D political family performed notably well with regards to women candidates elected into the EP with a percentage of 45.5%. On the contrary the share of women is only 30.4 % in the political family of EPP.
Voter apathy and the swing to the right jeopardises women’s rights
In large parts of Europe the low voter turnout and success of far right and populist parties represent a risk to the development and implementation of progressive anti-discrimination policies including women’s rights and gender equality.
The backward looking ideology and openly misogynist views of some of the parties and individuals elected represents a challenge to Europe’s relative success in tackling gender inequality. Joanna Maycock says “we are concerned that support for women’s organisations will also be further under threat as we have already observed in our work on austerity.”
There is still a chance for a real step forward
The political families within the European Parliament have a unique chance to change the image of European Politics out of touch with voters by having a leadership which better reflects the diversity of the electorate. The political groups must give women voters and elected women the same voice and weight, as their male counterparts. Political parties have the opportunity to bring change and parity to the EP by nominating women and man as candidates for the European Parliaments presidential elections.
The EWL demands from all political groups to ensure gender parity and non-gender biased portfolios when nominating and appointing MEPs for decision-making positions in the EP.
Women are not a minority, but represent the majority of the European society. Therefore, women must be represented in all portfolios of the decision-making positions in the European Parliament. EWL Fundraising Coordinator and Policy Officer, Serap Altinisik, remarks “gender can only be mainstreamed when women have a say and are involved at all levels of decision-making by chairing for example committees of the EP.”
For more information or interviews, please contact:
✉Elvira Buijink, EWL Media and Communication Officer email@example.com -+32 02/210 04 40
✉Serap Altinisik, EWL Policy Officer and Fundraising Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org -+32 02/210 04 27
Posted on 21 May 2014
[Brussels, 21 May 2014] The Swedish Women’s Lobby published yesterday a report on the voting behavior of current MEPs with regards to women’s rights. They furthermore asked the candidates what they are planning to do for women’s rights if elected in the upcoming elections.
Please find the press release, including the link to the report, in Swedish here.
If you don’t know yet for whom you should vote in these elections, the Lobby furthermore organises a debate with some of the candidates today in Stockholm, which you are more than welcome to join.
Posted on 20 May 2014
[Brussels, 19 May 2014] This week, EU Citizens have the right to vote in the European elections. The European Women’s Lobby (EWL) has done some analysis of the manifestos of the main European political parties from a gender perspective. The EWL Gender Audit assesses the parties’ commitment to gender equality and how their manifestos compare with the EWL’s own manifesto for the elections.
The EWL Manifesto "Act now for her future, commit to gender equality!"makes three general demands:
It also focuses on the importance of promoting women’s economic independence through guaranteeing equal pay for men and women, the urgent need for firm measures to end violence against women including through an EU Year to End Violence against women and girls in 2016, and the realisation of parity democracy.
The EWL Gender Audit assesses the level of commitment within the main European political parties to gender equality in Europe in the following policy areas:
We are surprised to see that two of the European parties, namely the European People’s Party (EPP) and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in Europe (ALDE), do not mention ‘women’ even once in their manifestos. We invite both these parties to reflect on how to strengthen their commitment to gender equality.
The manifestos of the European Greens, the Party of European Socialist (PES) and the European Left Party do include commitments to a number of relevant aspects of the EWL manifesto. The EWL analysis includes areas where we would like to see these parties reinforce their commitment.
This evaluation provides a powerful tool for the EWL, its member organisations and all European citizens who will be voting this week and want to see gender equality and women’s rights high on the political agenda.
Why is it important to go and vote? The European Union is a key player in terms of democracy and social change. By voting at the European elections in May, you decide who represents YOU in the European Parliament. The candidates you choose are your supporters for the next five years. They define European politics, take on the present and shape the future of women and girls, men and boys in Europe.
So, share this information with your networks, your friends and families and vote for change in Europe, vote for equality this week!
Posted on 9 May 2014
[Brussels, 9 May 2014] The Coordination of Greek Women’s NGOS , a member of the European Women’s Lobby, held a conference on the subject of Parity Democracy with regards to the upcoming elections by the end of April. This event took place in the Offices of the European Parliament in Athens and aimed at raising awareness for the importance of these elections, and at highlighting the special issue of equal representation in political decision-making.
The Greek Minister of Internal Affairs, the General Secretary of Social Affairs, the Head of the European Parliament Office in Athens, Greek and European Parliamentarians, candidates for the elections from all the parties agreed on the urgent need to mobilise European Citizens, especially women, to vote in the very important May elections.
Women candidates used the opportunity to present their priorities and show their engagement in the promotion of women’s rights and gender equality, against gender-based violence, as well as the promotion of women’s social and economic independence.
Mika Ioannidou, Head of the Coordination of Greek Women’s NGOS and Board Member of the EWL, furthermore talked about the work of the EWL and stressed the need to vote for women and candidates that are committed to gender equality: “The European Union is a key player for Democracy and Social change. Women today are very well educated and represent a complete pool of talents, new ideas and dynamism”.
Posted on 9 May 2014
[Brussels, 8 May 2014] Guy Verhofstadt, candidate for the Presidency of the European Commission for the Liberal ALDE-party, has signed the European Women’s Lobby (EWL) Manifesto for the European Elections, in the presence of EWL President Ms. Viviane Teitelbaum. With him, two top candidates have now endorsed the EWL Manifesto.
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.
Two weeks before the European elections, Mr. Verhofstadt officially backs the demands of the largest umbrella organisation of women’s associations in the European Union. At the event, which took place at the EWL’s office in Brussels, Mr. Verhofstadt signed the EWL Manifesto and theJoint Declaration “No Modern Democracy without Gender Equality of the 50/50 campaign” When asked by the President of the EWL Viviane Teitelbaum, Guy Verhofstadt committed to implement the needed measures to have parity in the European Commission and said, “This it is the easiest thing to do”.
Viviane Teitelbaum thanked Guy Verhofstadt for his commitment to gender equality and said “Achieving substantive equality between women and men, promoting women’s rights and empowering women should be a priority of the European Union and its Member States. Our Manifesto develops our vision of a Europe committed to the realisation of equality between women and men”. Furthermore, she said that “the EWL urges all candidates to the European elections to endorse it!”
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, including through adequate care services, 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.
Posted on 29 April 2014
[Brussels, 29 April 2014] The Lobbying Kit, published around 2 months ago in the framework of the 50/50 Campaign, is now available on the campaign website in 6 different languages. In addition to the French and English version, you can now use it in Greek, Lithuanian, Czech and Romanian.
The Lobbying Kit is aimed helping national (women’s rights) organisations and dedicated individuals in their demand to ensure the equal representation of women and men in political decision-making ahead of the coming European elections. It provides arguments to show why parity democracy is important for all of us and model lobbying letters in order to address national political parties, heads of governments and prominent supporters.
To download and use the new versions, please click here.
Posted on 23 April 2014
[Brussels, 23 April 2014] In four weeks European voters will elect a new European Parliament (EP) and will give a sign what kind of Europe they wish. If you want that women’s rights high on the agenda in the coming five years, take part and join the 5050 campaign.
The European Women’s Lobby with its 5050 campaign “No Modern European Democracy without Gender Equality” ahead of the elections is drawing attention to the under representation of women in policy decision-making positions across Europe.
We are asking women and men to take the opportunity of the European elections to vote for candidates who are eager to ensure gender equality at all levels in the EU. It is about democracy and fairness to include the demands and wishes of the whole of the society into decisions which have an impact on all - on women and men, girls and boys. A Europe without a gender lens is a Europe which leaves more than 50% of its citizens aside!
Women are still seriously underrepresented in political decision-making in all Member States and in European Union institutions. Only 35% of members of European Parliament and just 24% of members of National Parliaments are women. And only three out of 14 European Parliament Vice Presidents are women. Furthermore, currently 33% of members of the European Commission are women and the President of the Commission (Jose Manuel Barroso) is a man. While the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security (Lady Catherine Ashton) is a woman, the President of the Council (Herman Van Rompuy) is a man too.
How can you act and ensure that women’s rights are high on the political agenda in the EU?
• You can sign and disseminate the Joint declaration with the demands of the European Women’s Lobby to ensure parity at all EU institutions to all your friends, relatives, colleagues and networks.
• You can forward this article to all your friends and your networks and ask them to take part at the 5050 campaign through its different elements.
• You can take a picture of yourself and send it to email@example.com to publish it on all EWL media channels. See how our members are supporting with pictures.
• You can use your picture on your own social media channels as a sign of your support of women’s rights and gender equality ahead of the EU elections. The hashtag is #5050campaign and #EP2014
• You can ask your friends and networks to vote at the European elections for candidates that are in favour of women’s rights and gender equality.
• You can be an ambassador for gender equality by talking about the 5050 campaign and the importance to take part as voters at the European elections to ensure that decisions are not made without taking into consideration women’ perspectives.
If you have any further questions or ideas how to raise more awareness on the 5050campaign, please let us know and write an email to:
Serap Altinisik (Coordinator of the 5050 campaign) - firstname.lastname@example.org
Gina Horst (Policy Assistant) email@example.com
Posted on 2 April 2014
[Brussels, 2 April 2014] In order to find out who promotes women’s rights and to what extend European core values like gender equality are really respected, the Hungarian Women’s Lobby decided to approach the political parties of their country.
They sent a questionnaire to all the parties, including questions like if quotas for women in political parties and the economy should be established or how to promote father’s care work in the household and what they think about abortion.
To read the answers of the parties and the whole article on the subject in Hungarian, please click here.