EWL News

EWL and EU Commissioner Jourová share opportunities for women’s rights in Europe

[Brussels, 11 February 2016] This morning, the EWL had the unique opportunity to meet with Commissioner Věra Jourová and discuss challenges and opportunities for the advancement of women’s human rights in Europe. We exchanged several concrete and positive ideas to achieve equality between women and men in Europe, with a focus on ending violence against women and the situation of women and girls refugees.

The EWL Executive Committee welcomed Ms Jourová in Amazone, a women’s house in the center of Brussels hosting several women’s organisations including EWL Belgian members. EWL President Viviane Teitelbaum expressed again EWL’s support to Ms Jourová, the first ever EU Commissioner for Gender Equality, and our wish to see her role strengthened and sustained. As part of EWL priorities for the European Union, the EWL is asking for annual meetings of all Commissioners on gender equality and gender mainstreaming, annual meetings of EU Ministers on gender equality, and reinforced funding for women’s rights and women’s organisations. With these proposals, the EWL wants to see the European Commission express its commitment to gender equality at the highest decision-making level.

3 days ahead of One Billion Rising, a global action raising awareness on violence against women, the EWL was delighted to hear Ms Jourová’s commitments to advance the EU agenda on this highly important issue. Commissioner Jourová confirmed that the European Commission will propose the EU accession to the Istanbul Convention, and its plan to dedicate the year 2017 to ending violence against women. The EWL has issued a new factsheet on violence against women], highlighting our demands to the EU and the Member States. A group of experts and frontline NGO activists, the EWL Observatory plays a key role in monitoring progress and identifying burning issues; they will work on the ratification and implementation of the Istanbul, raising awareness on legislation gaps and service provision gaps.

The EWL also presented its new project “From conflict to peace? Women’s and girls’ voices on the move”, a collaboration with the Women’s Refugee Commission to raise awareness on the situation of women and girls in Europe fleeing conflict. With this #womensvoices project, we want to influence decision-makers to reflect a gender perspective in their policy and programme response to the current refugee flows. Commissioner Jourova was very interested in this work and we hope to be able to organise an event with her in New York, as part of the 60th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women.

The EWL Executive members would like to thank Ms Jourová for joining their meeting, listening to their demands for women’s rights, and being open to concrete ideas and ways to work together. We will continue to support her in her task to mainstream equality between women and men in all the work of the European Commission, and to advance women’s and girls’ human rights in Europe.

Find here the EWL priorities for the European Union 2016-2020, and EWL factsheet “Towards a Europe free form all forms of violence against women”.

EU Commissioner Jourová & EWL President Viviane Teitelbaum
Commissioner Jourová & EWL executive & staff

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