European & International News

Need for new equality strategy to create equal opportunities and end discrimination

[Brussels 7 May 2015] Communication from FEMM Committee. In a resolution adopted on Wednesday the Women’s Rights and Gender Equality committee calls on the Commission to adopt a new separate equality strategy for women’s rights and gender equality aimed at creating equal opportunities and ending all kinds of discrimination.

The resolution was adopted by 20 votes in favour, 12 against and 3 abstentions.

“I am very glad that the report was adopted today with such a large majority. Despite our differences and different views, the members of the committee for women’s rights and gender equality focused on our key aim: to finally achieve real gender equality in Europe”, said rapporteur Maria Noichl (S&D, DE). “When adopted in plenary, the report will serve as a good, balanced and forward-facing basis for a new women’s rights and gender equality strategy for all women and men in the EU. The report is asking for concrete actions and also proposing tools”, she added.

The EU’s economic, social and employment aims cannot be achieved if the gender equality is not fully realised, said MEPs.

The strategy should focus on the priority areas such as:
• violence against women
• discrimination of women in the labour market
• reconciliation of family and working life
• women in top positions
• education and media
• the wider world
• institutional mechanisms and gender mainstreaming

Violence against women

MEPs call on the Commission to come up with a draft law with binding instruments to protect women from violence and they call on member states to ratify the Istanbul Convention.

Reconciliation of family and working life

Quality child care services should be available and accessible, ensuring that these services are compatible with full time working hours of men and women, says the text.
Furthermore, MEPs stressed the importance of flexible forms of work in allowing women and men to reconcile work and family life, provided that the worker is free to make the choice. Members want to introduce paternity leave of at least 10 days in all member states and parental leave should be available to both parents.

Women in top positions

MEPs ask the Council to reach a common position on women’s quota as soon as possible, saying that the biggest increase in the proportion of women on corporate boards has occurred in countries that have already adopted legislation on compulsory quotas.
They also call for all EU institutions to take internal measures to increase equality within their own decision-making bodies.

Find the communication here

Picture - Facebookpage Maria Noicl, rapporteur}

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