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Reaction of PES Women to European Commission’s Gender Equality proposal

Date

22 Sep 2010

Sections

Social Europe & Jobs

Reaction of PES Women to European Commission’s Gender Equality proposal:

‘Viviane Reading has turned her back on Women suffering from the Economic Crisis’

Zita Gurmai, Party of European Socialists’ (PES) Women President today called the Gender Equality Strategy 2010-2015 presented by Commissioner Viviane Reding another missed opportunity in fighting for women’s rights. She stated that; “It is disappointing to see that in a time of crisis, when women are hit the hardest, Viviane Reding has once again turned her back on the women who are suffering in disproportionate numbers.

Why is it the case when the economic crisis is on the policy agenda of every other politician, does Ms. Reding continue to ignore how the crisis affects 52% of the EU population?” asked Ms. Gurmai.

After a weak Commission’s Women’s Rights Charter presented in March 2010 and little ambition from the Commission – unlike the Spanish Presidency - in gender mainstreaming the Europe 2020 Strategy, the hope for an ambitious and strong EU Gender Equality Strategy for the next 5 years was gigantic among women movements, especially in times of financial and economic crisis when these issues are often pushed aside. Investing in gender equality is a long-term investment leading towards social and economic progress. The PES position is that Ms. Reding, as Fundamental Rights Commissioner, has failed this test. Instead there is only an a la carte menu from which Member States are free to pick and choose.

WHATS MISSING?

The strategy lacks a wider gender mainstreaming approach such as in the field of;

    * An assessment of the Commission backed fiscal consolidation plans on Gender Equality

    * Women’s health policies, including sexual and reproductive rights

    * Gender budgeting, which has proven an extremely valuable tool for gender mainstreaming in different Member States.

    * Paternity leave is absent from the strategy despite increasing evidence that a more balanced approached has a positive economic impact

    * Coherency between EU internal Gender Equality commitment and external development policy rhetoric

 -ends-

For further information please contact Brian Synnott on +32 474 98 96 75 (brian.synnott@pes.org)

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