The first full week of March is mostly dedicated to the work of political groups ahead of the March plenary in Strasbourg, though one or two of the committees will also convene. Thursday 8 March will be an important day for women as this is when International Women's Day is held. The EP will celebrate the day with a series of events throughout the week.
This week the political groups are preparing for the March plenary in Strasbourg. During the plenary MEPs will be voting on issues such as the international cocoa agreement, cross-border inheritance, EP electoral law reform and the progress reports of Iceland, Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Gender equality will also feature on the agenda. Furthermore, the Parliament will discuss the outcome of the 1-2 March European Council spring summit and decide its position on the EU budget for 2013.
To mark International Women's day, the EP is organising a meeting between MEPs and national MPs on the theme "equal pay for work of equal value". The objective of the meeting is to brainstorm on measures to reduce the pay gap and also to assess the impact of what has been done before. There will also be a workshop for journalists on Wednesday 7 March where Mikael Gustafsson, chair of the women's rights and gender equality committee, will present Eurobarometer survey results on "Gender inequality in Europe".
Mr Gustafsson will also be chatting with EP Facebook fans on Thursday 8 March at 1500 CET. Join the chat and ask him questions on gender equality.
EP president Martin Schulz will meet Palestinian women on Wednesday to discuss the situation of women in the Middle East.