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100th Anniversary of the International Women's Day: Equality between women and men must be our priority. Mariya Nedelcheva MEP

Date

09 Mar 2011

Sections

Social Europe & Jobs

On the occasion of the 100th Anniversary of the International Women's Day, the European Parliament has raised its voice in favour of real gender equality in the EU.

"The current economic, financial and social crisis is having disastrous repercussions for employment, living conditions and for our societies as a whole. Women have been severely affected by the crisis, particularly in terms of their working conditions, their access to employment, their place in society in general and gender equality" stated Mariya Nedelcheva, MEP, during the plenary debate on the Report she drafted on "Equality between women and men - 2010".

The Rapporteur insisted on the fact that women remain relegated to part-time work on fixed-term contracts with often insufficient pay and are, for the most part, at a disadvantage on the labour market. Women are therefore more easily affected by poverty than men. "The crisis should be seen as an opportunity to rethink our strategies and to propose new solutions rather than staying with a pessimistic and negative perspective. Fighting against gender pay gap is, for instance, one of most important future challenges that we will have to address."

The Report highlights the importance of education and training of young people. Although often better qualified than men, women are sometimes denied access to positions of responsibility, leading to a mismatch between their levels of training and their status.

The role of women in decision making positions is an issue that will have to be addressed in the coming years. As stated by Viviane Reding, European Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, the 'glass ceiling' has to be shattered, firstly by the companies themselves through concrete proposals, and secondly if no solution is reached, by imposing quotas.

"Since 1911, the year when the International Women's Day was born, we have made significant steps forward. Women have gained respect for their dignity and their rights by fighting unfair discriminations. Progress still needs to be made: The EU has to show the way", stressed Mrs. Nedelcheva MEP.

InFocus: 100 Years of International Women's Day

For further information:
Mariya NEDELCHEVA MEP, +33-3-88175248
Statul Karabashev, EPP Group Press & Communications Service, Tel. +32- 474-941991

Notes to Editors:
The EPP Group is by far the largest political group in the European Parliament with 265 Members.

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