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Europe’s small steps towards 50/50

Posted on 12 June 2014

Europe's small steps towards 50/50

[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 buijink@womenlobby.org -+32 02/210 04 40

✉Serap Altinisik, EWL Policy Officer and Fundraising Coordinator altinisik@womenlobby.org -+32 02/210 04 27

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MEPs and NGOs sound the alarm on anti-choice threat to maternal health

Posted on 9 April 2014

MEPs and NGOs sound the alarm on anti-choice threat to maternal health

[Brussels, 09 April 2014, Joint Press Release] European politicians and the undersigned civil society organisations called today for the European Commission to stand firm in the face of a European Citizen’s Initiative campaign that could have catastrophic consequences for maternal health in the developing world. The “One of Us” campaign, spearheaded by ultra-conservative, anti-choice movements, is the subject of a hearing at the European Parliament on Thursday, April 10th. The Commission must comment formally on the ECI by May 28th.

“One Of Us” seeks to ban EU funding for any activities that could involve the destruction of human embryos. It is demanding that the Commission cut off all funding for research on human embryonic stem cells and funding for any organisations that are involved in the provision of indirect or direct abortion or “abortion-related” services in low and middle-income countries. Almost 800 women in the developing world die every day during pregnancy and childbirth.

This initiative seriously risks hampering our fight to reduce these deaths. “This is a dangerous and regressive initiative which would abolish essential EU support for maternal healthcare, pre-natal care and voluntary family planning services in some of the world’s poorest countries,” said Neil Datta, Secretary of the European Parliamentary Forum on Population and Development (EPF).

"Women’s rights are human rights,” said Sirpa Pietikäinen, Finnish Member of the European Parliament for the centre-right EPP Group. “Universality of these rights prohibits no one from choosing whether or not to apply these rights. Women’s right to decide on their own body is fundamental and cannot be overruled by religion or on any other grounds."

The “One Of Us” campaign is totally at odds with the EU’s longstanding development aid policy, and its international commitments as part of the Millennium Development Goals. Civil society trusts that, by rejecting this Initiative, the Commission will re-affirm the EU’s commitment to supporting sexual and reproductive health and rights. It must continue to play a strong global leadership role reducing maternal deaths. “The organisers of this initiative, driven by ultra-conservative anti-choice forces, are trying to impose their beliefs at any cost no matter if women’s lives are put in an immediate and significant high danger. This is not a pro-life posture; it is an open threat against women’s rights and against the basic human’s right to live in dignity”, said Viviane Teitelbaum, president of the European Women’s Lobby.

The “One of Us” initiative is the latest in a series of recent attacks on gender equality, women’s rights and sexual and reproductive health and rights in Europe and around the world. Ultra-conservative and anti-choice groups and politicians in Europe – some of whom who currently sit in the European Parliament – are now seeking to undermine the EU’s strong stance in support of women in the world’s poorest countries. “The organisers of One of Us have used the pretext of the protection of life to seek to impose anti-choice legislation that would be damaging for women’s health, researchers’ work and regenerative medicine,” said Pierre Galand, President of the European Humanist Federation. “We all value life in all its forms, and seek to create an environment where mothers and their children can thrive” added Vicky Claeys, IPPF EN Regional Director. “But the reality is that this campaign, if successful, would immediately and substantially increase the number of deaths in the developing world caused by pregnancy and delivery complications and unsafe abortions,” Claeys added.

Nicole Kiil-Nielsen French Member of the European Parliament for the Greens group added: “The EU – which has always played a leading role on this issue- should continue to promote the protection of maternal and reproductive health through its development aid."


Note to the editor

• Signatories: European Parliamentary Forum on Population and Development (EPF), IPPF EN, European Women’s Lobby (EWL), Centre for Reproductive Rights (CRR), European Humanist’s Federation, DSW ((Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevoelkerung)

• The European Citizen’s Initiative (ECI) was created by the Lisbon Treaty in 2010, and acts a mechanism by which European citizens can create a petition and bring it to the European Commission. A citizens’ initiative has to be backed by at least one million EU citizens, coming from at least 7 out of the 28 member states.

• The One of Us ECI requests the following:

o Juridical protection of the dignity, the right to life and of the integrity of every human being from conception in the areas of EU competence in which such protection is of particular importance

o A ban and end the financing of activities which presuppose the destruction of human embryos, in particular in the areas of research, development aid and public health; this includes a ban on funding for abortion, directly or indirectly, through the funding of organizations that encourage or promote abortion

• Approximately 120 million USD in EU development aid is currently spent each year to protect maternal and reproductive health. The ECI calls these funds into question.

• The EU’s position is clear – EU development funds to maternal health only goes to fund safe abortion services in countries where abortion is legal. This position has been restated by Development Commissioner Piebalgs on numerous occasions, reflecting aims and objectives of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), the “Muskoka Initiative” on improving maternal, newborn and child health and other international initiatives.

At the conclusion of the One of Us public hearing (09.00-12.30) at the European Parliament on Thursday 10th April, there will be an informal press point outside the hearing meeting room (JAN 4Q2).

The following people will be available for interview and comment on the outcomes of the hearing:

• Michael Cashman MEP (UK, S&D)

• Ulrike Lunacek MEP (Austria, Greens/EFA)

• Francoise Castex MEP (France, S&D)

• Veronique de Keyser (Belgium, S&D)

• Viviane Teitelbaum, President of the European Women’s Lobby

• Irene Donadio, Manager Public Affairs IPPF EN

• Neil Datta, Secretary, European Parliamentary Forum on Population and Development (EPF)

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European Women’s Lobby launches a video-clip on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

Posted on 25 March 2014

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women The European Women’s Lobby launches a video-clip “Europe Mobilizes against Rape”

[Brussels, 25 November 2013] Rape continues to be one of the most devastating forms of violence against women, yet it is too often a taboo subject and thus remains shrouded in silence. Research at European level indicates that only between 2% and 10% of rapes are reported. A great majority of sex crimes against women are undisclosed and sexual violence remains underestimated.

To mark the International Day on the Elimination of Violence against women, the European Women’s Lobby (EWL) is launching a video-clip to speak out and draw attention to the fact that rape needs to be seriously addressed by authorities in terms of access to justice, prevention and support to victims. The video clip is part of the joint EWL-Council of Europe (CoE) project to promote the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (also known as the Istanbul Convention) as a tool for change. The video-clip will be available on Monday 25th here.

The project consists of a series of events and actions aiming at mobilisation across Europe under the common slogan “Act against rape! Use the Istanbul Convention!”. In more than 30 countries, during the 16 days of activism against violence against women 2013 (25 November-10 December), EWL members and experts will debate with governments to promote the signature, ratification and implementation of the Istanbul Convention, and to call for justice and support for victims of rape. All the information of the events and the video-clip can be found on the dedicated section of the EWL website.

As the video-clip illustrates, the Istanbul Convention obliges States which have ratified it to improve their legislation (notably moving away from a definition of rape based on the use of physical force towards a definition based on the lack of consent); to improve their data collection systems; to facilitate access to justice for victims; to promote measures for prevention; and to ensure services and support for women victims, including migrant and refugee women.

The recent EWL Barometer on Rape in Europe shows that official data on rape and sexual violence against women is practically inexistent and studies on the prevalence of violence against women are generally very weak on sexual violence. Rape is a crime and a serious violation of women bodily integrity and sexual autonomy”, says Colette De Troy, Director of the EWL Observatory on Violence against Women.

Many aspect of public policies and legislation are completely inadequate with regards to rape in European countries, for example the fact that l, there are little or no services for women victims of rape in most European countries. The ratification and full implementation of the Istanbul Convention by all European countries and by the European Union itself is imperative”, says Cécile Greboval, Secretary General of the European Women’s Lobby.

Some facts and figures on rape in Europe:

• In the Czech Republic, one to two rapes per day are officially recorded – it is assumed that rape is reported in only 8% of the cases (and rape occurring in the context of family and partnership is reported only in 3% of cases).

• In Denmark, the Crime Prevention Council in Denmark makes statistics based on data from the rape centres and the police. They estimate that: 2000 rapes are committed in Denmark every year; 500 cases are reported to the police; in 300 cases the charges are brought and in 150 cases there is a conviction.

• In France, official surveys show that 198,000 women between 18-59 years old are victims of actual rape or attempted rape (2005-2006 CVS by INSEE-OND). In this country, 205 women are RAPED every day, only 2% of perpetrators are condemned, only 1 victim out of 10 will report to the police, 74% of rapes are committed by someone the victim knows (www.contreleviol.frwww.contr...).

• In the Netherlands, a recent study (2012) revealed that 15% of the women aged between 25-70 and 8% of the women aged between 15-24 were raped at least once in their lives.


For more information, interviews, background or visual materials, please contact:

  • Elvira Buijink, EWL Media and Communication Officer -buijink@womenlobby.org -+32 02/210 04 40
  • Irene Rosales, EWL Project Assistant- rosales@womenlobby.org +32 02/210 04 43
  • Colette De Troy, Director of the EWL Observatory against violence against women – detroy@womenlobby.org - (+32) 02/210 04 24
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European conference in Milan to debate prostitution and human rights / Conferenza europea a Milano per discutere su prostituzione e diritti

Posted on 21 March 2014

European conference in Milan to debate prostitution and human rights

[Brussels and Milan, 21 March 2014] LEF Italia (Il Coordinamento Italiano della Lobby Europea delle Donne) and the European Women’s Lobby (EWL), the largest coalition of women’s NGOs in Europe, will on 21 March host a European conference on “Prostitution and human rights: ending violence against women in Europe” in Milan. The conference aims at bringing the issues of prostitution and trafficking in women and girls on the political agenda of Italy, and involving decision-makers in reflecting on possible ways forward to address the growing sex industry and exploitation of women and girls in Italy from a women’s human rights perspective.

Hosted by the European Parliament Office in the framework of a series of events on “Europe is for women”, the event takes place three weeks after a historic vote by the European Parliament of a resolution on “Prostitution, sexual exploitation and its impact on gender equality”. Adopted on 26 February, the resolution clearly states that prostitution is a violation of human dignity and contrary to human rights principles, “therefore contrary to the principles of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, including the goal and the principle of gender equality”.

While Europol has recently stated that the legalization of prostitution leads to an increase of trafficking, many EU countries are looking at the Nordic model to address the links between prostitution and trafficking in women and girls. Last December, the French National Assembly adopted a proposal of law which would bring the Nordic model to France. Two weeks ago, the UK All-Party Parliamentary Group on Prostitution and the Global Sex Trade issued its report “Shifting the burden”, calling for the criminalisation of the purchase of sex, while protecting persons in prostitution and providing them exit programmes.

The conference therefore comes at a timely moment to discuss possible ways forward in terms of policies and actions. The conference will bring parliamentarians, experts and NGOs from France, Germany and Italy: Maud Olivier, member of the French National Assembly and rapporteur of the proposal of law on prostitution; Beatrice Mariotti, member of the German NGO Solwodi; Esohe Aghatise, founder of Associazione IROKO Onlus; Pierrette Pape, Acting Coordinator of the European Women’s Lobby; Oria Gargano, expert to the EWL Observatory on violence against women; Resistenza Femminista. The organisers have invited several Members of the European Parliament to join too.

LEF Italia and the European Women’s Lobby hold that prostitution is a form of violence against women which hinders the realisation of equality between women and men, and that the EU and its Member States should develop comprehensive strategies on ending violence against women and prostitution, and promoting women’s human rights. “It is not surprising that the lack of EU and national policies on prostitution has led to an increase in procuring and fuels trafficking in women into Europe for sexual purposes and sex tourism”, explains Siusi Casaccia, President of LEF Italia and EWL Board member. “In order to ambitiously realise women’s human rights, the EU and its Member States, including Italy, must uppermost support persons in prostitution, and tackle procuring and the demand side of the phenomenon through awareness raising, education to equality and effective sanctions to prostitute-users and procurers.”

The event is part of the EWL campaign ‘Together for a Europe free from prostitution’, which benefit from the support of more than 50 Members of the European Parliament. The EWL initiated the Brussels’ Call, an abolitionist manifesto on prostitution, which has been signed by more than 200 NGOs from all over Europe.


For further information, please contact:

At the European Women’s Lobby:

• In Brussels: Ms Elvira Buijink, EWL Communications and Media Officer, Tel: (32) 02.210.04.40, buijink@womenlobby.org, www.womenlobby.org

• In Milan on 21 March: Ms Pierrette Pape, EWL Acting Coordinator, Tel: +32 486 39 17 17

• In Milan on 21 March: Siusi Casaccia, President of LEF Italia, Tel: +39.3356670754 / Maria Ludovica Bottarelli Tranquilli Leali, Secretary General of LEF Italia, Tel: +39 3386580531



Conferenza europea a Milano per discutere su prostituzione e diritti umani

[Bruxelles Milano, 21 marzo 2014] LEF Italia (Il Coordinamento Italiano della Lobby Europea delle Donne) e la Lobby Europea delle Donne (EWL), la più grande coalizione di ONG di donne in Europa, sarà il 21 marzo ospite a una conferenza “europea” sul tema "Prostituzione e dei diritti umani: basta alla violenza contro le donne in Europa "a Milano. La conferenza mira a portare i temi della prostituzione e del traffico di donne e ragazze all’interno dell’agenda politica italiana, conducendo i decisori a riflettere sulle possibili vie da percorrere per affrontare la crescente industria del sesso e lo sfruttamento di donne e ragazze in Italia da una prospettiva dei diritti umani delle donne.

Ospitata dall’Ufficio del Parlamento Europeo di Milano, nel quadro di una serie di eventi sul tema "L’Europa è per le donne", la manifestazione si svolge tre settimane dopo un voto storico, da parte del Parlamento Europeo, di una risoluzione su "La prostituzione, lo sfruttamento sessuale e il suo impatto sull’uguaglianza di genere". La risoluzione, adottata il 26 febbraio, afferma chiaramente che la prostituzione è una violazione della dignità umana ed è contraria ai principi dei diritti umani ", quindi in contrasto con i principi della Carta dei Diritti Fondamentali dell’Unione Europea, tra cui l’obiettivo e il principio della parità di genere ".

While Europol ha recentemente dichiarato che la legalizzazione della prostituzione porta ad un aumento del traffico[6], molti paesi dell’UE stanno esaminando la possibilità di adottare il modello nordico per affrontare i legami tra prostituzione e traffico di donne e bambine. Lo scorso dicembre, l’Assemblea nazionale francese ha adottato una proposta di legge che porterebbe il modello nordico in Francia. Due settimane fa, il gruppo parlamentare del Regno Unito All-Party Parliamentary Group sulla prostituzione e il Global Sex Trade hanno emesso il loro rapporto "inversione dell’onere", chiedendo la criminalizzazione dell’acquisto di sesso, proteggendo le persone vittime della prostituzione e fornendo loro programmi di uscita.

La conferenza arriva quindi in un momento opportuno per discutere le possibili soluzioni in termini di politiche e azioni. La conferenza riunirà parlamentari, esperti e ONG provenienti da Francia, Germania e Italia: Maud Olivier, membro dell’Assemblea nazionale francese e relatore della proposta di legge sulla prostituzione, Beatrice Mariotti, membro della ONG tedesca Solwodi, Esohe Aghatise, fondatrice dell’ Associazione Iroko Onlus, Pierrette Pape, Vice Coordinatore della Lobby Europea delle Donne, Oria Gargano, esperto per l’Osservatorio EWL sulla Violenza Contro le Donne; Resistenza Femminista. Gli organizzatori hanno anche invitato diversi membri del Parlamento Europeo ad aderire.

LEF Italia e la Lobby Europea delle Donne ritengono che la prostituzione sia una forma di violenza contro le donne, essa ostacola la realizzazione della parità tra donne e uomini, l’UE e i suoi Stati membri dovrebbero sviluppare strategie globali per porre fine alla violenza contro le donne e quindi alla prostituzione, implementando la promozione dei diritti umani delle donne. "Non è sorprendente che la mancanza di politiche europee e nazionali in materia di prostituzione abbia portato ad un aumento nell’acquisizione e nell’aver infiammato la tratta delle donne in Europa a fini sessuali e del turismo sessuale", spiega Siusi Casaccia, presidente della LEF Italia e membro del consiglio della EWL. "Al fine di realizzare i diritti umani delle donne, l’UE ei suoi Stati membri, compresa l’Italia, devono dare il maggiore sostegno persone nella lotta alla prostituzione e devono affrontare l’ingaggio e la domanda del fenomeno attraverso la sensibilizzazione, l’educazione all’uguaglianza e sanzioni efficaci a utenti e committenti della prostituzione.”

L’evento è parte della Campagna ‘Together for a Europe free from prostitution’, che beneficia del supporto di oltre 50 Membri del Parlamento Europeo. La EWL ha avviato Brussels’ Call, un manifesto abolizionista sulla prostituzione, che è stata firmata da più di 200 organizzazioni non governative provenienti da tutta Europa.


Per maggiori informazioni, contattare:

Alla European Women’s Lobby:

• A Bruxelles: Ms Elvira Buijink, Responsabile Comunicazioni e Ufficio Stampa EWL, Tel: (32) 02.210.04.40, buijink@womenlobby.org, www.womenlobby.org

• A Milano il 21 marzo: sig.ra Pierrette Pape, Coordinatore EWL, Tel: +32 486 39 17 17

• A Milano il 21 March: sig.ra Siusi Casaccia, presidente della LEF Italia, Tel: +39.3356670754 / sig.ra Maria Ludovica Bottarelli Tranquilli Leali, Segretaria Generale del LEF Italia, Tel: +39 3386580531

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International Day of Women: Mind the Gender Pension gap! - Attention à la discrimination entre les femmes et les hommes

Posted on 7 March 2014

[Brussels, 7 March 2014]

International Day of Women: Mind the Gender Pension gap!

Gender inequalities will further increase unless national governments take active measures to combat gender discrimination at every stage of life.

With the ongoing retreat of the welfare state, governments are looking to reduce further pressure on public budgets, including from social protection and pension systems. The current economic crisis has only aggravated the situation obliging governments to introduce further budgetary cuts.

However, little attention has been paid to assess ultimate impact of these reforms on women and their future old-age income. “The majority of older people are women and the highest poverty rates among older people are concentrated among very old women. This is why when reforming social protection systems and labour markets it is absolutely essential to take account of the gender impact”, stated Anne-Sophie Parent, Secretary General of AGE. “The slow progress towards equal pay in Europe has life-long consequences as the gender gap in pay produces an even greater gender gap in pensions which is currently 39% on average in the EU”, added Viviane Teitelbaum, President of the European Women’s Lobby (EWL), “…meaning poverty for many women in the later stages of their lives”.

The challenges faced by older women have been highlighted in a joint paper by EWL and AGE, which also raises awareness on the negative impact of recent austerity measures on this population group and the need for approaching this issue from a holistic life course perspective. Promoting gender equality at every stage of life, in particular through reducing career and pay gap, will be particularly important in this respect. It is also imperative to guarantee non-contributory income safety nets in order to keep out of poverty women with no individual pension rights. AGE and EWL call on EU leaders to address gender equality through Europe 2020 by mainstreaming its social objectives in the economic processes of the European Semester. “By doing so, our governments will ensure that progress in economic reforms will deliver social progress and justice for all citizens and improve socio-economic cohesion within and among Member States”, concluded Parent and Teitelbaum. The needs of the most vulnerable population groups – including older women – must be addressed through stronger EU coordination of social protection and employment reforms, in full respect of Europe 2020 objective on inclusive growth for the benefit of all population and age groups.

Useful links

Joint EWL and AGE paper Improving the situation of older women in the EU in the context of an ageing society and rapidly changing socio-economic environment.

• AGE work on adequate income in old age:www.age-platform.eu/age-policy-work/social-protection.


For more information, interviews, background or visual materials, please contact: Elvira Buijink, Communications and Media Officer, European Women’s Lobby; Tel: +32 2210 04 40; buijink@womenlobby.org, and see www.womenlobby.org.

Note to editors: The European Women’s Lobby (EWL) is the largest umbrella organisation of women’s associations in the European Union (EU), working to promote women’s rights and equality between women and men. EWL membership extends to organisations in all 28 EU Member States and three of the candidate countries, as well as to 21 European-wide organisations, representing a total of more than 2000 associations.

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The EWL unveils its Manifesto for the EP 2014 Elections: "Act now for her future, commit to gender equality!"

Posted on 4 March 2014

The EWL unveils its Manifesto for the EP 2014 Elections: "Act now for her future, commit to gender equality!"

[Brussels, 4 March 2014] On the week of the International Women’s Day (8 March), the European Women’s Lobby (EWL) is happy to unveil its Manifesto for the European Parliament elections 2014 "Act now for her future, commit to gender equality!".

Women and girls are half of Europe’s population, and are entitled to the same rights as men and boys. Achieving substantive equality between women and men, promoting women’s rights and empowering women should be a priority of the European Union (EU) and its Member States. Gender equality is an essential part of democracy, social justice, human rights and dignity. The European Parliament (EP) has the power and responsibility to create meaningful change towards equality for all, now and in the future.

The Manifesto "Act now for her future, commit to gender equality!" comprises the main demands of the European Women’s Lobby, the largest umbrella organisation of women’s associations in the EU. The EWL Manifesto makes three general and five policy-specific demands:

• A comprehensive framework to achieve gender equality

• Sustainable funding for gender equality

• Credible EU policies on gender equality at international level

• Women’s economic independence

• Parity democracy

• A caring society

• A Europe free from violence against women

• Diverse in equality

@EuropeanWomen #EP2014 #EuropeanWomensVoice

In the last months, the EWL has delivered several communication tools that support its demands and raise awareness on many aspects of women’s lives and rights in Europe:

Women’s Watch 2012-2013: a feminist overview of women’s rights and gender equality in Europe!

• EWL video clip “A she-(re) cession”- What does austerity mean for women in Europe?”

• EWL publication The Price of Austerity: The Impact on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality in Europe

• European Women’s Voice ’Women in Decision-Making, Talent at the Top

50/50 Campaign Lobbying Kit

2013 EWL Barometer on Rape

• EWL petition 2016 as European Year to End Violence against Women

• EWL video clip on the Brussels’ Call ’Together for a Europe free from prostitution

• EWL publication 18 myths on prostitution

• EWL European Political Mentoring Network

• EWL European Political Mentoring Network: first webdocumentary online

Download here the EWL Manifesto.

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Vote of the European Parliament on Honeyball resolution - A historic step forward towards gender equality for women’s organisations

Posted on 26 February 2014

For women’s organisations, a historic step forward towards gender equality with the vote of the European Parliament on the Honeyball resolution

[Brussels, 26 February 2014] The European Women’s Lobby (EWL) warmly welcomes the vote of the European Parliament today which recognises that prostitution violates human dignity and human rights, and is an obstacle to equality between women and men. The resolution has been adopted with a strong majority (343 for, 139 against, 105 abstentions).

Together with the 200 NGOs from all over Europe, which have signed the Brussels’ Call ‘Together for a Europe free from prostitution’, the EWL sees this European development as a sign that mentalities are evolving towards shared values of equality and dignity.

We congratulate the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) for their courageous stance against the system of prostitution which exploits the most vulnerable, perpetuates male domination and fuels trafficking in women”, says Viviane Teitelbaum, President of the European Women’s Lobby.

The resolution acknowledges the violence inherent to the system of prostitution, saying that prostitution is a breach of women’s fundamental rights and contradictory to the EU Charter for Fundamental Rights. “By rejecting the alternative resolution which supports the idea of a so-called ‘voluntary’ prostitution, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) expressed the view that the phenomena of prostitution and trafficking in women cannot be separated”, says Pierrette Pape, Coordinator of EWL campaign ‘Together for a Europe free from prostitution’ and currently Acting Coordinator of the EWL.

The resolution points out to the Nordic model as a successful approach to deter trafficking, support and assist women in prostitution, and change mentalities in terms of gender equality. The Nordic model, implemented in Sweden, Norway and Iceland, is based on the fundamental principles of equality between women and men, human dignity, solidarity and justice. The report’s rapporteur, Ms Mary Honeyball (S&D, UK) said: “Rather than blanket legalisation – which has been a disaster in Holland and Germany – we need a more nuanced approach to prostitution, which punishes men who treat women’s bodies as a commodity, without criminalising those who are driven into the sex industry."

“The resolution is a very strong step forward towards the realisation of gender equality in Europe and beyond, and is consistent with the vote of Ms Parvanova’s resolution asking for EU legislation to end all forms of violence against women. The European Parliament is sending the clear message that 21st century societies are to be free from systems of prostitution and from violence against women. This is a unique moment for all the women still in prostitution and for all the survivors who have supported this move, and we want to pay tribute to their courage and strength”, says Viviane Teitelbaum.

To find out more about the Brussels’ Call and EWL campaign on prostitution:
-  EWL publication ’18 myths on prostitution’, with a comparison of 10 years of Dutch and Swedish policies on prostitution
-  EWL video clip on the Brussels’ Call (3’)


For more information, interviews, background or visual materials, please contact : Elvira Buijink, Communications and Media Officer, European Women’s Lobby; Tel: +32 2210 04 40; buijink@womenlobby.org, and see www.womenlobby.org.

Note to editors: The European Women’s Lobby (EWL) is the largest umbrella organisation of women’s associations in the European Union (EU), working to promote women’s rights and equality between women and men. EWL membership extends to organisations in all 28 EU Member States and three of the candidate countries, as well as to 21 European-wide organisations, representing a total of more than 2000 associations.

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Tomorrow 18.02, 16h15 - My MEP is just like me?! - High Level Seminar European Parliament Brussels

Posted on 17 February 2014

My MEP is just like me?! – High Level Seminar - European Parliament, Brussels

Gender Equality and Diversity in European Political Life ahead of the European elections 2014

18 February 2014, Room A3G2, 16h15- 18h15 Hosted by MEP Claude Moraes, Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, UK

This high level seminar, organised by the European Women’s Lobby(EWL), takes place within the framework of the 50/50 Campaign ‘No Modern European Democracy Without Gender Equality’ and the European Political Mentoring Network.

Speakers

  • Congresswoman Linda T. Sánchez, Senior Whip for the Democratic Caucus, United States of America
  • Ms Zakia Khattabi, Member of Parliament Brussels-Capital Region
  • Moderated by the Core Group members of the 50/50 Campaign: MEP Ulrike Lunacek (Greens/EFA), MEP Zita Gurmai (S&D), MEP Sirpa Pietikäinen (EPP), MEP Antonyia Parvanova (ALDE) and MEP Claudette Abela Baldacchino (S&D)
  • Ms Petra Maier, Assistant Professor in Politics, University Antwerp
  • With the participation of Board and Staff members from the European Network Against Racism, the European Network of Migrant Women, ERGO Network for European Roma and ILGA-Europe

At this high level seminar, Congresswoman Linda T. Sánchez, Senior Whip for the Democratic Caucus, will give an insight on best practices of the USA on parity. She will also discuss with experts from different governmental bodies, academics, NGOs and MEPs the perspective on equal representation of women and men in political life and diversity in governmental bodies and the European Institutions, with a focus on the European elections of 2014.

Interview opportunities with all speakers after the seminar.

Context EWL’s 50/50 campaign ‘No Modern European Democracy Without Gender Equality’ aims to promote the active participation of women as candidates and voters in the European Parliament elections of May 2014. The campaign also addresses the need for parity in decision-making positions in the European Institutions and gender mainstreaming in policies at local, national and European levels. The main aim of the 50/50 campaign is to increase the number of women among those elected. The 50/50 campaign also incorporates a unique European wide practical tool to have an impact on increasing the representation of women in their diversity in the European Parliament, which is the European Political Mentoring Network (EPMN). The EPMN aims to empower women from ethnic minorities (mentees) ahead of the May 2014 European elections through different capacity-building trainings and by bringing these women together to exchange experience and good practice. The Network addresses the lack of gender parity and ethnic diversity in political decision-making and connects female MEPs from cross-parties (the mentors) with the mentees who are planning to run for the 2014 European elections.


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For more information, interviews, background or visual materials, please contact:

Elvira Buijink, Media and Communication Officer, buijink@womenlobby.org, +32 02/210 04 40, +32 (0) 496 86 48 26

Note to editors: The European Women’s Lobby (EWL) is the largest umbrella organisation of women’s associations in the European Union (EU), working to promote women’s rights and equality between women and men. EWL membership extends to organisations in all 28 EU member states and three candidate countries, as well as to 20 European-wide organisations, representing a total of more than 2000 associations.

More information

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Launch of One Billion Rising Brussels 2014 event – 14/02/2014

Posted on 14 February 2014

On 14 February 2014, the heart of Europe beats against violence against women and for justice!

FESTIVE EVENT IN BRUSSELS

12 pm: Place Poelaert in front of the Palais de Justice, Brussels.

One in three women in the world will be raped or beaten during her lifetime, meaning one billion women. In Europe, 7 women die every day of domestic violence. In Belgium, in 2011, 4083 rapes were recorded, amounting to more than 11 every day. But officials estimate that 90% of sexual violence crimes are not reported.

Justice begins when we speak, release, and acknowledge the truth in solidarity and community. The ONE BILLION RISING FOR JUSTICE is an invitation to break free from confinement, obligation, shame, guilt, grief, pain, humiliation, rage, and bondage.” (Eve Ensler, V-Day founder)

In Belgium, the “One Billion Rising Brussels Europe” Platform, comprising women’s associations and volunteers, is contributing to this worldwide movement and proposes a festive and lively event, free and open to everybody, in the heart of Brussels, the heart of Europe, on Friday 14 February.

Schedule:

• 11:45 h Corteges: Three corteges will leave from place Louise, place Sablon and place Lepee, and go to Place Poelaert in front of the Palais de Justice. Each cortege will bring a red suitcase filled with testimonies of women victims of violence

• 12h: Gathering of all corteges in Place Poelaert, the three red suitcases will be brought to the podium

• 12.15h: Explanation of the One Billion Rising Campaign and the action of the day

• 12:20 Flash-mob on EWL song « Rise up, Stand up! »

• 12:45 p.m. until 13:15 p.m. Delegation: A delegation representing each association participating in OBRussels will meet the procurer to exchange about this issue and ask for a better justice, in the Palais de Justice • Grass band, live music and an acrobatic spectacle

• Public action: people will have the opportunity to report their experiences writing down their report and testimonies down on red hearts available. Their testimonies will be brought to the red suitcases in the podium.

• 13:45h: Flash-mob “Break the chains”

• 13:55h: Close of the event, closing the suitcases

Opportunities for interviews:

• Viviane Teitelbaum, President of the EWL and of Conseil des Femmes francophones de Belgique (CFFB)

• Magda De Meyer, President of Nederlandstalige Vrouwenraad (NVR)

• Isabelle Durant MEP (tbc)

EWL member organizations from all over Europe are also participating to One Billion Rising, being part of a great movement demanding a Europe free from violence against women. The EWL has been regularly asking the EU to act and take measures to end this pervasive violation of women’s rights. One Billion Rising will be a key momentum to reiterate the demands of the women’s organizations and challenge decision-makers at all levels.

Join us and show to the whole world, through music and dance, our force and solidarity across borders!

One Billion Rising is a worldwide initiative proposed by V-Day and aiming at mobilizing people all around the world, at Saint Valentine’s Day, to dance and sing in order to speak up against violence against women and girl.

For more information, you can:

• visit EWL website : www.womenlobby.org

• go to EWL Facebook page : https://www.facebook.com/pages/Euro...

• Go to One Billion Rising Brussels facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/579...

• Follow EWL through Twitter : @EuropeanWomen @VDay - #rise4justice – #OBRussels14 - #EndVAW


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For more information, interviews, background or visual materials, please contact:

Elvira Buijink, EWL Media and Communication Officer, buijink@womenlobby.org, +32 02/210 04 40, +32 (0)496 86 48 26

Irene Rosales, EWL Policy Officer, rosales@womenlobby.org, +32 02/210 04 25, +32 (0)479 49 61 64

Colette De Troy, Director of the EWL Observatory against violence against women, detroy@womenlobby.org, +32 (0)2/210 04 24

Note to editors: The European Women’s Lobby (EWL) is the largest umbrella organisation of women’s associations in the European Union (EU), working to promote women’s rights and equality between women and men. EWL membership extends to organisations in all 28 EU member states and three candidate countries, as well as to 20 European-wide organisations, representing a total of more than 2000 associations. More information: www.womenlobby.org

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ONE BILLION RISING EVENT AT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT BRUSSELS - WEDNESDAY 12.02.2014

Posted on 12 February 2014

ONE BILLION RISING EVENT AT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT BRUSSELS - WEDNESDAY 12.02.2014

The European Women’s Lobby and Members of the EP rise for Justice and for 2016 to be the European Year to End Violence against Women

Wednesday 12 February 2014 EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT BRUSSELS - Ground floor (Main Hall - niveau 0)

• From 9h30 to 12h: MEPs and Commissioners will be able to sign in a board full of colourful handprints (representing all the women around the globe rising for justice) to show their engagement

• At 12h: Group Picture with MEP, speeches from EWL President Viviane Teitelbaum, Isabelle Durant MEP and Antonyia Parvanova MEP

• Then invitation to dance on EWL song “Rise up! Stand Up!”

• Opportunity for individual interviews with MEPs and Commissioners.

In the framework of the ONE BILLION RISING (OBR) Global Campaign 2014 (see below), the European Women’s Lobby (EWL) is organizing a unique event at the European Parliament, co-hosted by the Vice-President of the EP Isabelle Durant, to raise awareness on violence against women.

A big board full of colorful hands (representing all the women around the globe rising for justice) will be shown at the European Parliament in Brussels on the 12th of February at the Ground floor (Main Hall - niveau 0 – ASP). MEPs will be signing the board and rise for Justice and for 2016 to be the European Year to End Violence against Women.

A group picture with all the MEPs will be taken at 12h00 with the press invited to cover the event. MEPs will also be invited to dance and will be available for interviews.

One in three women is a victim of violence in the world. This represents one billion women. In Europe, 7 women die every day from domestic violence and one in 10 are victims of sexual violence. On the eve of unveiling the findings from the first EU survey on violence against women which will reveal the huge prevalence of violence against women (FRA survey), the EU has an important role to play to end the shame of violence against women. This is why, the EWL is calling on the MEPs to harness again their imagination, demand justice for victims and show their support for 2016 to be the European year to end violence against women.

CONTEXT ONE BILLION RISING, initiated by V-Day, is the biggest global campaign to end to violence against women, rise for justice and promote gender equality.

In 2013, OBR was a huge success: one billion people in 207 countries rose and danced to demand an end to violence against women. The European Women’s Lobby organised a flashmob in the city center of Brussels in which more than 800 people participated. Highly committed MEPs and EU Commissioners took also part in a flashmob in the European Parliament.

In 2014, ONE BILLION RISING FOR JUSTICE is a global call to women survivors of violence and those who love them to gather safely on February 14 in community outside places where they are entitled to justice (court houses, police stations, government offices, etc.). It is a call to survivors to break the silence and release their stories through dance, marches, songs, spoken word, testimonies, etc.

« Justice begins when we speak, release, and acknowledge the truth in solidarity and community. The ONE BILLION RISING FOR JUSTICE is an invitation to break free from confinement, obligation, shame, guilt, grief, pain, humiliation, rage, and bondage » One Billion Rising Website.

For the 2014 OBR edition, the EWL is co-organising with its Belgian Members, Conseil des femmes francophones and Vrouwenraad, a festive event in Brussels on 14 February, at 12h, in front of the Palais de Justice (Place Poelaert 1 – 1000, Brussels). The board full of colorful handprints signed by the MEPs will be brought to the event to bring great motivation to the crowd dancing and rising together! A media advisory on this event will follow.


ends---------------------------------------------------------------- For more information, interviews, background or visual materials, please contact:

• Marie-Alix, Office of MEP Isabelle Durant, Vice-President of the European Parliament, isabelle.durant-office@europarl.europa.eu, 0032 2 28 47 363

Elvira Buijink, EWL Media and Communication Officer, buijink@womenlobby.org, +32 02/210 04 40

Irene Rosales, EWL Policy Officer, rosales@womenlobby.org, +32 02/210 04 43, +32 0479496164

Colette De Troy, Director of the EWL Observatory against violence against women, detroy@womenlobby.org, +32 (0)2/210 04 24

Note to editors: The European Women’s Lobby (EWL) is the largest umbrella organisation of women’s associations in the European Union (EU), working to promote women’s rights and equality between women and men. EWL membership extends to organisations in all 28 EU member states and three candidate countries, as well as to 20 European-wide organisations, representing a total of more than 2000 associations. More information: www.womenlobby.org

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