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GUE/NGL MEP Mikael Gustafsson first man ever elected chair of the Women's Committee


04 Oct 2011


Social Europe & Jobs

GUE/NGL MEP Mikael Gustafsson, from the Swedish Left Party, was elected chair of the European Parliament Women's Rights Committee this afternoon, the first man ever to hold this post.

By presenting Mikael Gustafsson as chair of the Women's Rights Committee, the European United Left/Nordic Green Left group in the European Parliament is sending a clear signal that gender issues are not the sole responsibility of women.

Mr Gustafsson became an MEP in September when he replaced Eva-Britt Svensson, who resigned for health reasons. Svensson had been the committee chair for two years, and was a strong advocate of women's rights and gender equality.

"I am overwhelmed and honoured," said Mikael Gustafsson. "The committee has put its trust in me, and I will do my utmost to live up to that trust."

"I will strive to continue the work of Eva-Britt Svensson. Among the challenges ahead are European Union legislation against violence against women and to increase women's economic independence and their influence in politics. I also consider the current 18% pay gap between women and men as a great injustice."

Mikael Gustafsson is from the Swedish town of Nynäshamn and was a top candidate for the Swedish Left Party in the 2009 European Parliament elections. Throughout his career he has been committed to gender equality, social justice and sustainable development and holds the view that gender equality should always be an integral part of all EU policies, but particularly employment, environment, education and health, and foreign policy.