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Focussing on the female vote in European elections


09 Apr 2010


Social Europe & Jobs

This week the European Parliament's Women's rights committee discussed the findings and implications of a Eurobarometer survey entitled "Women and EU: Attitudes, Engagement and Information". It shows that the EU is still lacking a human face, wider participation, a better image and better coverage of women in politics. Liberal and Democrat MEPs concluded that women's concerns deserve much more attention, and not just a few months before elections take place.

The results show that more women in the lists brought more credibility and attracted more voters and higher participation in the elections. It also suggests that women's image in the media is still framed by some stereotypes.

"The pictures in Estonian school books for instance still depict the mother with an apron in the kitchen and the father standing next to his car, which is far from promoting gender equality", commented ALDE MEP Siiri Oviir. "What women want is equal pay, fair work and more results in combating poverty. The study shows that women are no less European than men, but just perceive the EU in a different way to men."

"Moreover, the reality in member countries varies greatly. Women want to eliminate inequalities in the economic sector, to obtain equal pay for equal work, have a more balanced distribution of posts in key decision making levels, both in business and in politics. In every day life women hope to have more innovative solutions for reconciling professional and family life. We cannot achieve their expectations only with pure rhetoric and it takes both women and men to fight together to genuinely improve gender equality and women's rights. This requires long-term viable decisions, guaranteed with monitoring and enforcement mechanisms.

"Women make up 53 percent of the EU population, so leaving their problems continuously unsolved means also ignoring the wider picture of the Union", said the Estonian MEP Siiri Oviir (Eesti Keskerakond - Estonian Centre Party).

The full results of the survey carried out by TNS for the European Parliament are available online at:


For more information, please contact:

Neil Corlett: +32-2-284 20 77 or +32-478-78 22 84



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