Tag Archives: women’s rights

#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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Saudi women protest against abaya

Saudi campaigners have urged Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) to abandon rules for the Kingdom’s rigid dress code for women, launching a social media action posting photos, wearing their abayas inside out in protest.

Women in Saudi Arabia have for decades been required to wear the abaya — a loose, all-covering black garment — in public, a dress code strictly enforced by police.

Prince Mohammed said in March that women needed only to dress “modestly” and were not required to wear abayas. But Saudi women  see  that in practice nothing has changed, and they are demanding the promised freedom.

I’ve started wearing my compulsory hijab called abaya (this black robe) turned inside out to express my objection on Sharia law violating Saudi women’s freedom to clothe,” tweeted one, referring to the Islamic law that effectively governs the kingdom.

‘”I’ve started wearing my compulsory hijab called abaya (this black robe) turned inside out to express my objection on Sharia law violating Saudi women’s freedom to clothe,” tweeted one, referring to the Islamic law that governs the Kingdom.

Irish voted to legalize abortion

In a historic victory the Republic of Ireland has voted to effectively legalize abortion, removing a clause in the constitution that had been described by the UN as a violation of human rights.

The Irish electorate voted 1,429,981 to 723,632 in favor of repealing the Eighth Amendment of the country’s constitution.

The result removes the equal right to life of the unborn and mother from the constitution. The conservative 1983 law had effectively banned all abortions, leading to thousands of Irish women travelling abroad to countries such as the UK to undergo the procedure.

The vote came as a total defeat of anti-abortion campaigners, who have already assessed the referendum results as a “tragedy of historic proportions”; they also quoted the Vatican, pointing out that while giving right to a women, the abortion denies an unborn child his or her “most basic right, to life itself.”

Women allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia

Women in Saudi Arabia will soon have the right to drive, according to a royal decree issued by the country’s King Salman.

The kingdom has long been the only country in the world where women are prohibited from driving, and the longstanding ban has been the subject of extensive protests in and outside the country.

In the royal decree issued on Tuesday, King Salman ordered that an ministerial body would implement the change by June 2018, following a consultation over the next 30 days.

The decree referred to the “negative consequences of not allowing women to drive the vehicle and the positive aspects of allowing it”.

MEP Korwin-Mikke reprimanded over pejorative comments on women

Korwin bowtie

Today the EP president Antonio Tajani announced the sanctions against Polish MEP Janusz Korwin-Mikke for his unacceptable remarks against women during a plenary debate on the “Gender pay gap” on 1 March 2017.

According to the decision, the MEP will lose his daily subsistence allowance for thirty days, be suspended from parliamentary activities for ten days, with the exception of voting, and prohibited from representing Parliament for one year.

Speaking before the start of the voting session in Strasbourg, president Tajani announced the decision to reprimand MEP Janusz Korwin-Mikke (NA, PL) for his declarations against gender equality.

“I will not tolerate such behaviour, in particular when it comes from someone who is expected to discharge his duties as a representative of the people of Europe with due dignity. By offending all women, the MEP displayed contempt for our most fundamental values, ” – Tajani said.

The president also extended his apologies to anyone who was hurt or offended by the MEP’s outburst, emphasising that such behaviour will never be tolerated.