Press releases

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  • Maternity Leave Directive - European Women’s Lobby expresses deep disappointment in the aftermath of the EP non-vote and appeals to the electorate to vote for more women in the future European Parliament

    The European Women’s Lobby (EWL) expresses its deep disappointment at the way in which the Estrela report to improve provisions for pregnant women workers, those that have recently given birth and/or breastfeeding was addressed at the last plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg yesterday – 6 May.
    “Women have joined the labour market in unprecedented numbers in the last decade and made a substantial contribution to the economic development of the European Union. The labour (...) Read more

  • Employers sanctions directive: Migrant workers, not employers, will pay the price of their exploitation

    [Brussels, February 2009] The European Parliament has voted in favour of a report by Mr. Fava MEP on EU legislation aiming to introduce sanctions for employers of irregular third country nationals. ENAR, EWL, PICUM and SOLIDAR have been encouraged to see the high priority given by the European Parliament to addressing the exploitation of migrant workers. This is why we are also disappointed that a compromise has been reached by the EU Council and MEPs that retains the focus on the status of (...) Read more

  • New Maternity Leave Directive: European Women’s Lobby Calls for 24 Weeks Paid Maternity Leave for All Women in the European Union

    The European Women’s Lobby (EWL) welcomes the Commission’s proposal released last Friday to amend the current European Directive on the introduction of measures to encourage improvements in the safety and health at work of pregnant workers and workers who have recently given birth or are breastfeeding.
    Commenting on the proposed 18 weeks continuous leave, which adds 4 extra weeks to the current European legislation, Myria Vassiliadou, EWL Secretary General, stressed that ‘currently 15 Member (...) Read more

  • The EU must step up efforts to eliminate sex trafficking

    “Trafficking in women and girls for sexual exploitation remains the most dominant form of trafficking in Europe today, and the EU must step up efforts to target traffickers, pimps, and the sex industry that makes its profits from the sexual exploitation of women and girls”, stated Myria Vassiliadou, European Women’s Lobby (EWL) Secretary General, on the eve of the European Anti-trafficking Day.
    In order to highlight the issues at stake, and also to give visibility to initiatives undertaken by (...) Read more

  • Increased trafficking in women due to EU tolerance for the prostitutional system

    According to the UN, 79% of trafficking in human beings is for sexual exploitation. Unsurprisingly therefore, more than 80% of these victims are women. To mark its third Anti-trafficking Day, the EU will hold a Ministerial conference on 19-20 October which will focus on global partnerships from a European security and justice perspective. Commenting on this upcoming event, Brigitte Triems, President of EWL, says: ‘The European Women’s Lobby (EWL) and its Centre on Violence Against Women (...) Read more

  • Civil society organisations and trade unions warmly welcome the European Commission’s decision to propose a single anti-discrimination directive

    On 16 June 2008, Commissioner Barrot confirmed to the European Parliament in Strasbourg that the European Commission will propose a cross-cutting directive aimed at combating discrimination on the grounds of age, disability, religion/belief and sexual orientation in areas outside the field of employment.
    We, civil society organisations as well as trade unions working for equality, human rights and social justice, warmly welcome this news and congratulate President Barroso and the European (...) Read more

  • Le viol n’est pas un jeu

    La vente en ligne sur d’un simulateur de jeu de viol japonais appelé « RapeLay » a suscité de vives réactions parmi les ONG et la presse [1].
    Ce jeu vidéo présente un homme dont le but est de traquer et de violer des femmes et des filles, des mères et leurs filles, et à les faire « bénéficier » de ces expériences. Pour commencer, le joueur attaque et viole une femme et ses deux petites filles dans le métro. Le jeu comprend également de la violence sexuelle contre chaque femme et fille dans un (...) Read more

  • Joint statement “We are families”

    Joint Press Release
    On the occasion of the International Day of Families, 15 May 2007, four social NGOs are reminding the EU that any definition of families should reflect the diversity of families which exist in European societies. Increasingly, the traditional concept of family is challenged by the evolution of society. The number of teenage pregnancies, single-parent families and families based on same-sex unions is on the rise in the EU. A failure to acknowledge their existence, and (...) Read more


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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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