[Brussels, 7 February 2020] On 6 February 2020, a delegation of the European Women’s Lobby composed of EWL’s President Gwendoline Lefebvre and EWL’s Vice-Presidents Laura Albu and Ana Sofia Fernandes met with the new European Commissioner for Equality Helena Dalli. The meeting was the opportunity for EWL’s representatives to welcome Commissioner Dalli in her new role and discuss how to jointly advance women’s rights in Europe, in particular through the upcoming EU Strategy on equality between women and men.
The Strategy is amongst the commitments from both President Ursula von der Leyen and Commissioner for Equality Helena Dalli to concrete measures guaranteeing improvement of women’s lives and experiences in Europe. This Strategy – which was missing during the last five years – will need to show strong political will and commitment from the European Commission towards the realisation of a just, equal European Union for all women and allow concrete political action from the Member States.
EWL’s representatives have presented their recommendations on this future strategy, having gathered input from its 2,000 member organisations, ensuring its demands reflect the reality of women’s needs and experiences across Europe. EWL has high hopes that this strategy will help tackle barriers and stereotypes faced by all women in Europe throughout their life, including in their older age: in their families, at school, at work, in the public sphere.
The EWL has identified several important actions and measures the new European Commission should take to ensure gender mainstreaming through all areas of its work – as demanded by the Treaties (Article 8 TFEU). The EWL expects to see the new EC President’s commitment to women’s rights translated into all the EC political guidelines and all portfolios of the European Commissioners. To facilitate this, EWL recommends the Commissioners to have compulsory expert-led trainings on equality between women and men, as well as an annual meeting around International Women’s Day in March.
EWL is also calling for bold positive actions to put an end to male violence against women, ensure women’s and girls’ access to sexual and reproductive health and rights, foster all women’s economic independence, promote equality in decision-making and leadership and increase resources for women’s rights.
EWL’s representatives called on Commissioner Dalli to ensure these recommendations are endorsed by all EU institutions and that strong accountability mechanisms are put in place to ensure the European Commission and all EU Member States take concrete steps to achieve real equality between women and men in the whole EU.