Tag Archives: Gender equality

Tusk vows respect gender balance for EU top jobs

The president of European Union Council Donald Tusk announced he is looking for the best candidates for the EU’s top jobs this year and underlined he aimed to offer at least half of them to women.

Gender balance means at least two women. Whether this is possible — we will see, but it is my plan and my personal ambition and I felt very strong support from almost everyone in this aspect,Tusk said at a press-conference concluding the EU Informal summit.

 

#8March: Europarl employees protest against inequality

#InternationalWomenDay European Parliament staff went on strike, protesting against inequality in the European parliament. In 60 years only two women reached the positions of speaker, however they both were elected last millennium.

at the European Parliament main entrance at Simone Veil Agora: “We demand that women no longer have to bear the consequences of policies that don’t respect us”. The organisers of the event are the only gender-balanced group in the European Parliament. “We stand up for workers, environment, feminism, peace & human rights. Another Europe is possible!” says the European United Left/Nordic Green Left group, on its Twitter micro blog page.

International Women’s Day

“Europe ranks among the safest and most equal places for girls and women in the world”, says the statement of the European Commission issued on the occasion of the 8th of March International Women’s Day.

“…Also in Europe women are still facing challenges, inequalities and threats in their everyday lives: abuses and harassment, lower wages, fewer job and career opportunities. And that is unacceptable. […] Many of the remaining inequalities are linked to the place of women at work. The EU’s new rules on Work-Life Balance will contribute to getting more women at work by giving families a real choice on how to organise their professional and private life. […] Women remain underrepresented in politics. In the upcoming European elections, we would like to see more women across the EU not only voting, but standing and succeeding as candidates.

“The Commission also calls for more women to be represented in the highest level of all EU institutions, including as Commissioners. This Commission has been leading by example: today we have 9 female Commissioners and women account for almost 40% of our managers.

“…Gender equality is also at the core of our continuous engagement with partner countries worldwide. […] We are committed to giving all women and girls equal access to health services, education and economic empowerment, and the opportunities to shape their own future.”

The Commission has also published its 2019 report on equality between women and men in the EU, under the responsibility of First Vice-President Timmermans and Commissioner Jourová. n in law enforcement. For more information on the Commission’s action in the field of gender equality, click here. Eurostat data on the gender employment gap is available here, on women in managerial positions here, and statistics on women in national parliaments and governments here.

EU: women in politics striving for equality

Exactly one hundred years after women won the vote or were first elected to parliament in some EU countries, the data show that women continue to be under-represented in politics and public life, in the European Parliament, national parliaments and governments, and local assemblies.

Virginija Langbakkdirector of the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) shares her view on major obstacle for women to reach equality with men in politics.

The arguments for gender balance in politics are numerous, and benefit not only women and female politicians, but also parties themselves and the rest of society. After all, women form half the population and need to be better represented in power structures. However, there is now solid evidence both of obstacles and of the strategies that are effective when it comes to increasing women’s participation and representation.

The political parties and the media can be both barriers and important enablers. The EU has committed to achieving a gender balance in political representation and participation as a matter of justice, equality and democracy. Concrete recommendations have been made for achieving this goal, including specific action that could be taken by the EU institutions, national governments, political parties, civil society and the media. In the run-up to the European elections in May 2019, new mandates in the Commission and European Council, and the end of the EU’s current strategy for gender equality, there is a particular focus on how a better gender balance (at least 40 %) or gender parity (50 %), could be achieved in the next Parliament and for other high-level posts in the EU institutions, and how the EU and its Member States can move towards true parity democracy.

The EP press service has organised a seminar for journalists at the occasion of the 2019 International Women’s Day on “Women’s power in politics”, with a particular focus on the upcoming European Elections.

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Estonia – highest gender pay gap in EU

Approaching the International Women Day 2018, the EU assesses the work to be done to achieve gender equality. In 2016, the unadjusted gender pay gap stood at just over 16% in the European Union. In other words, women earned on average 84 cents for every euro a man makes per hour. Across Member States, the gender pay gap in 2016 ranged from just over 5% in Romania and Italy, to more than 25% in Estonia, followed by the Czech Republic and Germany (both almost 22%). 8 March 2018: International Women’s Day-Women in the EU earned on average 16% less than men in 2016 – Lowest pay gap in Romania and Italy, highest in Estonia.

EU Commission concerned with Polish women retirement age

The European Commission  is concerned that reintroducing a different retirement age for men and women in Poland could violate the bloc’s equality rules, according to a letter from Brussels.

Poland’s ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party and President Andrzej Duda – who comes from the same political grouping – campaigned on promises to undo a 2012 reform that had been gradually raising and equalising the retirement age at 67.

The government’s change, largely popular among Poles, will take effect from October, reintroducing a retirement age of 65 for men and 60 for women.

“Equal treatment between women and men is a key pillar on which our Union is based,” top EU officials for justice and gender equality, Vera Jourova, and employment and social affairs, Marianne Thyssen, wrote.

“The Commission has concerns about the changes in the Polish statutory pension system which might be incompatible with EU law.”

Poland’s Deputy Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki defended the government’s change, saying women should have the right to retire earlier because they have more responsibilities, including raising children.

“The role of women must be appreciated and therefore the legislators provided for the possibility of an earlier retirement,” Morawiecki told the Catholic Trwam television when asked to comment on the Commission’s letter.

“What we propose reflects not only social expectations but also different roles for women, different roles for men.”

Economists have warned the Polish move will hit growth and public finances, at a time when the PiS has already sharply increased state spending.

Brussels has already raised the issue in its criticism of separate PiS-sponsored legal moves to put courts and judges under more direct government control.

G7 for gender equality

The leaders of the world’s most advanced economies  at G7 Summit in Taormina are set to define gender equality among human rights after the US accepted the wording, according to European diplomats.

A reference to “human rights” in the statement G7 leaders to be endorsed in Taormina would have a significant impact on discourse on gender equality worldwide, although the G7 format is not legally binding.

Initially the US sherpas engaged in drafting the leaders’ statement opposed any wording that would commit the countries to promoting gender equality as human right. The US negotiators argued that framing the issue as a “top priority” was sufficient, however later they agreed to upgrade, acknowledging the gender equality as ‘fundamental’ for human rights.

 

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