To mark Women's Day and in view of the European elections which will take place from 4 - 7 June 2009, two Eurobarometer surveys have been especially dedicated to the attitudes and concerns of women regarding the European Union. A sociodemographic analysis, commissioned by the EP analyses the cumulative results of the EB68, EB69 and EB70 Eurobarometer surveys (autumn 2007 - autumn 2008). The Eurobarometer Flash carried out at the request of the European Parliament and the European Commission focuses specifically on the female electorate on the eve of the 2009 European elections.
This sociodemographic analysis highlights to what extent women view their personal circumstances in a more negative manner than men. The statistics speak for themselves regarding the levels of employment, unemployment and annual income. It is not surprising that a significant percentage of women have a more reserved view of globalisation and show less support for the euro. They have less of a feeling of being listened to than men and they hold a less positive image of the EU. We note the same difference regarding their views on membership to the EU.
Women would like the European Parliament to prioritise consumer protection and public health. They see the issue of unemployment as the principal campaign theme which they would like to see address while men prioritise the debate on the economic crisis.
Finally, in the context of the European elections in June 2009, even if women say they are less interested than men in the European elections, their intention to vote is practically the same.
The Eurobarometer Flash contains questions which were posed to both men and women and questions which were posed only to women. Once again, the majority of women responded that their interests were not well represented by the EU. However, they do believe that the activities of the EP have an impact on life in general in the areas of education and the defence of the rights of women. In their eyes, the next Parliament should agree on the priority of equal salaries and the fight against violence and trafficking of women.
It is important to highlight that a significant majority of women do not feel discriminated against because of their gender.
In the political domain, a majority of women believe that politics is dominated by men. These last ones, to a lesser extent, also think this. If they want the proportion of women to be equal or surpass 50% in the EP, they do not want this objective to be achieved by the imposition of obligatory quotas. When choosing to vote for a candidate in the European elections, women say that they prioritise experience in European affairs. Men also prioritise this, but not as many.
The European Parliament regularly commissions surveys on public opinion in the 28 Member States.
These surveys cover a wide range of issues, focusing primarily on the European citizens' knowledge of the European Parliament, their perceptions of the EU and its main challenges, their expectations in view of the European elections, the European Parliament and the European integration in general.
The analysis of the results is meant to ensure the most complete overview of national evolutions, regional specificities, as well as socio-demographic differences and historical trends.