In view of the EP elections of May 2014, the European Women’s Lobby calls on all Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to work towards making meaningful changes aimed at obtaining equality, promoting women’s rights and empowering women.
In the first week of March, the European Women Lobby disclosed its Manifesto for the European Parliament elections 2014 “Act now for her future, commit to gender equality!”.
The Manifesto comprises the main demands of the European Women’s Lobby. In particular, it makes three general and five policy-specific demands:
1. A comprehensive framework to achieve gender equality:
- Strengthen and implement the EU legal framework on gender equality.
- Adopt and implement the EU Strategy for Equality between women and men 2015-2020.
- Strengthen the EP Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality.
- Ensure gender mainstreaming throughout the work of the EP.
- Appoint an EU Coordinator on women’s rights and gender equality, who reports to the European Commission’s President.
2. Sustainable funding for gender equality:
- Introduce an EU budget which is gender-sensitive, environmentally sustainable and promotes social cohesion.
- Guarantee adequate EU funding for programmes, policies and actions on women’s rights and gender equality.
- Urge Member States to allocate budgets for women’s rights and gender equality at all levels.
3. Credible EU policies on gender equality at international level:
- Call for women’s rights representatives as full EU delegation members at United Nations (UN) and global meetings.
- Ensure consistency between EU internal and external policies, including at UN level and in the post-2015 development framework.
4. Women’s economic independence:
- Promote women’s employment by effectively enforcing and strengthening EU equality legislation.
- Guarantee women’s economic independence through individual rights to social protection and taxation.
- Protect all women workers, irrespective of their employment status, including pregnant workers.
- Combat women’s poverty, including in work poverty, and put an end to the gender pay and pension gaps.
- Democratise the EU semester process through the participation of the EP and women’s organisations.
5. Parity democracy:
- Call on political groups and parties to be inclusive of women and to work towards achieving parity in elections at all levels.
- Call on EP political groups to nominate one woman and one man as candidate for the European Parliament’s presidential elections.
- Ensure gender parity and non-gender biased portfolios when nominating and appointing MEPs for decision-making positions in the EP.
- Adopt efficient binding EU-level legislation to reach parity on company boards.
6. A caring society:
- Develop standards on quality and affordable care services for children, dependent and elderly persons across the life-cycle.
- Develop a multi-layered approach that focuses on equality in paid and unpaid work to enable both women and men to become equal earners and equal carers throughout their lives.
7. Europe free from violence against women:
- Establish 2016 as the EU Year to End violence against women, with substantial resources to raise awareness and support actions at all levels.
- Adopt and implement an EU Strategy to end all forms of violence against women in Europe, including prostitution, to end mpunity, protect all women and give them access to justice.
- Establish an EP intergroup on sexual violence.
- Guarantee universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights.
8. Diverse in equality:
- Measure equality outcomes and impact of new and existing EU policies and legislation, on all women and girls.
- Improve the EU anti-discrimination law, by extending the EU directive on sex discrimination to all fields of EU competence, and supporting the adoption of a more comprehensive directive addressing discrimination on the grounds of religion or belief, age, disability or sexual orientation.
- Take into account women’s diversity of needs and adopt appropriate measures to combat multiple and intersecting forms of
discrimination experienced by women.
The EWL is going to explain, week after week, on its website, the demands of its Manifesto for the European Parliament elections 2014 “Act now for her future, commit to gender equality!”.