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Procedure : 2021/2003(INI)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A9-0025/2022

Texts tabled :

A9-0025/2022

Debates :

PV 08/03/2022 - 16
CRE 08/03/2022 - 16

Votes :

PV 09/03/2022 - 13
CRE 09/03/2022 - 13
PV 10/03/2022 - 2
CRE 10/03/2022 - 2

Texts adopted :

P9_TA(2022)0073

Texts adopted
PDF 199kWORD 80k
Thursday, 10 March 2022 - Strasbourg
The EU Gender Action Plan III
P9_TA(2022)0073A9-0025/2022

European Parliament resolution of 10 March 2022 on the EU Gender Action Plan III (2021/2003(INI))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) of 18 December 1979, and to General recommendation No. 30 on women in conflict prevention, conflict and post-conflict situations of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women of 18 October 2013,

–  having regard to the 1995 Beijing Declaration and Platform of Action adopted at the Fourth World Conference on Women, and to the outcomes of its review conferences,

–  having regard to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and its entry into force in the EU on 21 January 2011 in accordance with Council Decision 2010/48/EC of 26 November 2009 concerning the conclusion, by the European Community, of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities(1),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 3 March 2021 entitled ‘Union of Equality: Strategy for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2021-2030’ (COM(2021)0101),

–  having regard to the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted in September 2015, and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) thereof, in particular goals 1, 4, 5, 8, 10 and 17,

–  having regard to the International Labour Organization (ILO) Equal Remuneration Convention No. 100 of 1951,

–  having regard to the ILO Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention No. 111 of 1958,

–  having regard to the ILO Violence and Harassment Convention No. 190 of 2019,

–  having regard to the ILO Social Protection Floors Recommendation No. 202 of 2012,

–  having regard to the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the protection of civilian persons in time of war of 12 August 1949,

–  having regard to UN Security Council resolutions 1325 (2000), 1820 (2008), 1888 (2009), 1889 (2009), 1960 (2010), 2106 (2013), 2122 (2013), 2242 (2015), 2467 (2019) and 2493 (2019) on women, peace and security,

–  having regard to the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention) of 11 May 2011,

–  having regard to the Council of Europe Conventions on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings of 16 May 2005 and on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse of 25 October 2007,

–  having regard to the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) held in 1994 in Cairo, to its programme of action and the outcomes of its review conferences, and to the 2019 Nairobi Summit (ICPD+25) celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Cairo conference,

–  having regard to the Addis Ababa Action Agenda of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development of July 2015,

–  having regard to the joint EU-UN Spotlight Initiative aimed at eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls,

–  having regard to Articles 2 and 3(3) of the Treaty on European Union and to Articles 8, 153(1) and 208 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to Article 23 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union,

–  having regard to the Global Strategy for the European Union’s Foreign and Security Policy of June 2016,

–  having regard to the joint communication from the Commission and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security of 25 November 2020 entitled ‘EU Gender Action Plan (GAP) III – an ambitious agenda for gender equality and women’s empowerment in EU external action 2021-2025’ (JOIN(2020)0017), and to the accompanying Joint Staff Working Document entitled ‘Objectives and Indicators to frame the implementation of the Gender Action Plan III (2021-25)’ (SWD(2020)0284),

–  having regard to the communication from the Commission of 11 December 2019 on the European Green Deal (COM(2019)0640),

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) 2021/522 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 March 2021 establishing a Programme for the Union’s action in the field of health (‘EU4Health Programme’) for the period 2021-2027, and repealing Regulation (EU) No 282/2014(2),

–  having regard to the UN Secretary-General’s policy brief entitled ‘The Impact of COVID-19 on Women’ of 9 April 2020,

–  having regard to the UN Population Fund report entitled ‘Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Family Planning and Ending Gender-based Violence, Female Genital Mutilation and Child Marriage’, published on 27 April 2020,

–  having regard to the World Health Organization (WHO) global strategy to accelerate the elimination of cervical cancer as a public health problem launched in November 2020,

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 5 March 2020 entitled ‘A Union of Equality: Gender Equality Strategy 2020-2025’ (COM(2020)0152),

–  having regard to the EU Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders,

–  having regard to the EU Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security (WPS) 2019-2024 of 5 July 2019,

–  having regard to the Generation Equality Forum held from 29 to 31 March 2021 in Mexico City and from 30 June to 2 July 2021 in Paris, and to the commitments announced to accelerate progress in the achievement of gender equality worldwide, as well as to the ‘Global Acceleration Plan for Gender Equality’ and the new ‘Compact on Women, Peace and Security and Humanitarian Action’ launched as a result of the Forum,

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) 2021/947 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 June 2021 establishing the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument – Global Europe(3),

–  having regard to its resolution of 31 May 2018 on the implementation of the Joint Staff Working Document (SWD(2015)0182) – Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment: Transforming the Lives of Girls and Women through EU External Relations 2016-2020(4),

–  having regard to its resolution of 12 February 2020 on an EU strategy to put an end to female genital mutilation around the world(5),

–  having regard to its resolution of 13 February 2020 on the EU priorities for the 64th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women(6),

–  having regard to its resolution of 23 October 2020 on Gender Equality in EU’s foreign and security policy(7),

–  having regard to its resolution of 21 January 2021 on the gender perspective in the COVID-19 crisis and post-crisis period(8),

–  having regard to its resolution of 21 January 2021 on closing the digital gender gap: women’s participation in the digital economy(9),

–  having regard to its resolution of 24 June 2021 on the 25th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD25) (Nairobi Summit)(10),

–  having regard to its resolution of 24 June 2021 on the situation of sexual and reproductive health and rights in the EU, in the frame of women’s health(11),

–  having regard to Rule 54 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the opinions of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Committee on International Trade and the Committee on Budgets,

–  having regard to the joint report of the Committee on Development and the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (A9-0025/2022),

A.  whereas gender equality is a value upheld by the European Union and a fundamental and universal human right;

B.  whereas gender-based violence in all its forms, particularly femicide, is the most extreme form of gender inequality; whereas gender-based violence is to be understood as an extreme form of discrimination and a violation of human rights;

C.  whereas it is necessary to uphold women’s rights and to take steps to combat all forms of exploitation, violence, oppression and inequality between women and men; whereas preventing gender-based violence requires challenging the gender norms that perpetuate inequalities and translating this into the adoption and implementation of effective legislative measures and reforms, among other measures;

D.  whereas gender-based violence is both a cause and a consequence of structural inequalities and the lack of an equal distribution of power; whereas combating violence requires an understanding of its causes and contributing factors; whereas gender inequality is deeply engrained in societal values built upon gender stereotypes; whereas engaging men and boys for gender equality is both a goal and a prerequisite to achieving sustainable and effective equality;

E.  whereas violence against women and girls manifests itself in different and not mutually exclusive forms, including cyberviolence; whereas according to estimates, more than half (58 %) of 14 000 women and girls in 31 countries have been harassed and abused online;

F.  whereas women with intersecting identities and vulnerabilities face an increased risk of violence and harassment;

G.  whereas the EU and the UN have launched the Spotlight Initiative with a view to combating violence, including sexual violence, against women and girls;

H.  whereas sexual exploitation is a serious form of violence that mostly affects women and girls; whereas the EU needs to support partner countries in order for them to increase funding for social support and access to services for victims of trafficking and sexual exploitation, with psychological and social support from specialists, and to introduce specialised services dedicated to the full social and economic inclusion of vulnerable women and girls to free them from sexual exploitation;

I.  whereas with regard to healthcare services and services relating to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), access must be universal; whereas health rights, in particular sexual and reproductive health rights, are fundamental women’s rights that should be strengthened and cannot in any way be watered down or withdrawn; whereas a certain discourse that threatens the upholding of sexual and reproductive rights both within and outside the EU is on the rise;

J.  whereas women in all their diversity face intersecting structural discrimination based on race, ethnicity, religion or belief, disability, health, socio-economic background, birth status, age, class, refugee or migration status and sexual orientation and gender identity, which needs to be acknowledged as a barrier to the full enjoyment of fundamental rights;

K.  whereas it is essential to global knowledge and governance to collect disaggregated and quantifiable data on gender inequality, taking into account intersectional factors;

L.  whereas women’s and girls’ rights are under threat and the space for civil society organisations (CSOs), especially those defending women rights, as well as feminist and grassroots organisations, is shrinking in many countries both within and outside the EU; whereas a worrying backlash against women’s and LGBTQI+ rights is being observed throughout the world and involves limiting SRHR and banning sexuality education and gender studies;

M.  whereas empowering and providing adequate funding to CSOs defending the rights of women and girls in partner countries is vital to generate new societal attitudes and a consensus that facilitate gender equality; whereas the active involvement of women’s organisations on the ground is essential for the successful implementation of GAP III;

N.  whereas women and girls are disproportionately affected by the increasing number of emergency situations such as those that result from armed conflicts, natural disasters and climate change;

O.  whereas the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown measures have had a serious impact on women and girls and have exacerbated existing gender inequalities, particularly impacting access to education and healthcare, especially SRHR, as well as work-life balance; whereas this is resulting in an increase in gender-based violence and social and economic inequalities;

P.  whereas the pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on women; whereas some 70 % of the social and health workers fighting COVID-19 on the front line, whether nurses, doctors or cleaners, are women; whereas women who are working from home, unemployed or working part-time have come under even greater pressure, as they have continued to perform the majority of household chores and family care tasks; whereas the available data suggests that the number of women victims of violence and/or harassment rose during the COVID-19 lockdown;

Q.  whereas there is a lack of women students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields of study;

R.  whereas equal representation, participation and influence of women and men in political life is a precondition for a truly democratic society; whereas the constructive participation of women and girls in conflict prevention, resolution and reconstruction makes for a more sustainable peace;

S.  whereas measures to combat inequalities will be of fundamental importance to the post‑pandemic recovery; whereas girls’ and women’s participation, representation and leadership should be a priority when designing, implementing and evaluating such measures;

T.  whereas achieving respect for human dignity and gender equality is still a challenge; whereas no country in the world will come close to achieving gender equality before 2030;

U.  whereas GAP III should be the framework for an active contribution of EU external action in the fight against gender inequality; whereas GAP III should be fully implemented as a key instrument to deter discrimination and marginalisation, and to ensure women’s and girls’ rights and dignity, advocating the mainstreaming of gender issues in all international cooperation programmes and the integration of gender equality in national plans and strategies, in collaboration with local partners and CSOs;

V.  whereas there should be a more strategic, coordinated and systematic approach to how the EU and the Member States work together on gender issues in partner countries; whereas EU missions and delegations are in the front line of efforts to implement GAP III, and the expertise of delegation and mission staff is a key element for its successful implementation; whereas the Commission should provide delegations with technical assistance in getting started with the country level implementation plans (CLIPs);

1.  Welcomes the new EU Gender Action Plan III for 2021-2025 and its call for a gender‑equal world, as a continuation of, and building on, the work, the lessons learned and the achievements of GAP II; welcomes GAP III’s improvement, commitments and comprehensive objectives, in particular its upgrading from a working document to a joint communication, as Parliament called for in its resolution of 23 October 2020 on Gender Equality in EU’s foreign and security policy;

2.  Welcomes the inclusive nature of the consultation process undertaken to inform the drafting of GAP III and the reflection therein of recommendations provided by Parliament, the Member States, EU gender focal points and, in particular, women’s rights civil society organisations (WCSOs);

3.  Deplores the fact that the Council has failed to achieve unanimity on conclusions, owing to objections from four Member States to the word ‘gender’, thereby obstructing the formal endorsement of the Action Plan, and stresses that this shows clear signs of the backlash against gender equality and women’s rights; reiterates its call for the establishment of a new Council configuration on gender equality bringing together EU ministers and secretaries of state responsible for gender equality in order to facilitate gender mainstreaming across all EU policies, including foreign and security policy and development policy; calls for efforts to be made towards a joint EU position and for strong action to univocally denounce the backlash against gender equality;

4.  Points out that the EU has an important role to play in achieving a gender‑equal world through supporting partner countries to address gender discrimination; calls for the EU to lead by example and urges the six Member States which still have not ratified and implemented the Istanbul Convention to do so in the shortest possible time frame; calls on the European External Action Service (EEAS) to promote the ratification of the Istanbul Convention within its political dialogue with Council of Europe partner countries;

5.  Strongly condemns the withdrawal of Turkey from the Istanbul Convention; considers that the denunciation of the Istanbul Convention is another step that questions the status of Turkey as a candidate for membership of the EU;

More effective EU commitment and efficient implementation

6.  Calls for full implementation and prioritisation of GAP III in every aspect of EU external action through a gender-transformative and intersectional approach, both in terms of GAP III’s geographical coverage and areas of action, as well as gender mainstreaming in all areas of external action, whether trade, development policy, humanitarian aid, security or sectors such as energy and agriculture; reiterates that actions to implement GAP III have to be guided by the need to address the root causes of gender inequalities, and allow for the meaningful participation and inclusion of men, women and disadvantaged groups, and that limited funding and understaffing are among the fundamental obstacles to implementing EU objectives on gender equality and gender mainstreaming; reiterates that any effort to achieve the goals of GAP III must take into account the diversity of women; recalls that GAP III should ensure Policy Coherence for Development through systematic gender impact assessments in order to avoid any negative impacts of EU policies on women’s and girls’ rights and gender equality; calls on the Commission to provide the necessary practical and political tools to ensure the smooth translation of GAP III’s principles into actions and practice; calls for the EU to be ambitious in promoting goals that bring about the observance of human rights and real gender equality among the external partners with which the EU seeks to work;

7.  Calls for the establishment of an extensive and comprehensive training programme to underpin the implementation of GAP III, in particular on gender mainstreaming, gender budgeting and gender impact assessments, as well as on gender-based violence; stresses the need to invest in knowledge, resources and in-house expertise on gender equality in EU delegations in order for them to be able to implement GAP III adequately; calls for these training programmes to be tailored as much as possible to the local and national context in which GAP III is being implemented; calls for these training courses and related tools to be made freely and easily available to interested local partners;

8.  Stresses the need for a regular, external and independent assessment of GAP III’s results, at every level and every stage, against the targeted and measurable objectives set and for the input of civil society, NGOs and other relevant stakeholders on the ground to be taken into account in a transparent and inclusive way; calls for the systematic implementation of rigorous gender analysis and the use of gender-sensitive and sex-disaggregated indicators and statistics; insists that the assessment of GAP III should evaluate the implementation of all EU policies relevant to EU external action; calls for GAP III to incorporate clear tools to track the total amount of gender equality spending and assess the qualitative impact of these initiatives in terms of promoting gender equality; expects the missing specific and measurable baselines, indicators, actions and targets to be added to the Working Document without further delay, together with the respective roadmaps and timelines for all objectives; stresses the importance of the Global Europe instrument’s programming exercise as a unique opportunity to operationalise GAP III’s targets;

9.  Calls on the EU missions and delegations, the Member States, partner countries and local and regional governments to cooperate closely in the implementation of GAP III using all diplomatic and programmatic tools at their disposal, through proper guidance developed and shared through the delegations; recalls the key importance of the gender focal points and calls for their role and visibility to be strengthened; welcomes the introduction of the CLIPs and insists that all CLIPs be made public and translated in order to ensure accessibility for local civil society and grass roots organisations;

10.  Calls on the Commission to strengthen synergies with the UN, partner countries and international stakeholders, to jointly advance and reach international targets related to gender equality in Agenda 2030 and its SDGs, in the Beijing Declaration and its Platform for Action, and in the Programme of Action of the ICPD and its review conferences;

11.  Calls for close ties to be established with local CSOs, especially those working to defend the rights of women and girls, including those from vulnerable communities, and with ministries, regional and local governments in partner countries in order to enhance the effectiveness and country ownership of the implementation of GAP III and its CLIPs; calls, further, for an annual policy and political dialogue with the European Parliament regarding GAP III implementation, encompassing stakeholders and, in particular, local authorities, civil society and women’s organisations; reiterates its call on the EU missions and delegations to engage in a meaningful dialogue with CSOs and to provide and exchange information about the way their input was used and translated into gender policies;

12.  Welcomes the focus of GAP III on young people as drivers of change; calls for the EU to ensure that women and girls, as well as women rights and grassroots organisations, particularly girl- and youth-led organisations and women-led frontline humanitarian responders, participate meaningfully and play a leading role in the implementation of GAP III in their countries, through funding and training; reiterates the importance and added value of the expertise of, and long-term engagement with, local activists, grassroots organisations and/or other experts and relevant stakeholders on gender issues, so that gender projects are adapted to the local socio-economic and cultural context;

13.  Calls for stronger and systematic collaboration between the stakeholders involved in the implementation of GAP III, including between the Commission Directorates-General; strongly encourages the Member States and EU delegations to consider local and regional governments as key actors in development policy, as they are the democratic level closest to the citizens and are best placed to promote gender equality and sustainable development; stresses the need to work closely with rural communities and community leaders to foster the reach of gender equality programmes everywhere;

14.  Calls for the inclusion of a specific target for funding women’s rights organisations and civil society; calls for multiannual, flexible, direct, adequate and sufficient funding for local CSOs and networks in all their diversity, especially those working to defend the rights of women, girls and other vulnerable communities, and human rights organisations working to improve the legal framework of countries; calls on the Commission to come forward with simplified funding mechanisms and practices to allow smaller, grassroots organisations to access EU funding for gender equality; condemns all moves to clamp down on women’s rights activists, including women human rights defenders, and urges all governments to protect, support and cooperate with civil society;

15.  Stresses that women human rights defenders are in an extremely vulnerable position, especially in conflict areas and in conflict and post-conflict situations; welcomes the call to collaborate with and promote a safe environment for women human rights defenders and calls on the Commission to protect them through adequate actions and mechanisms, together with allocating dedicated resources to EU delegations;

16.  Calls on EU delegations to strictly implement the EU Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders in relation to activists defending the rights of women, especially regarding the duties to report on governmental bodies responsible for violations of human rights and to provide legal pathways to activists when and as needed; calls on the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR) to report annually to Parliament on the implementation of the EU Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders;

17.  Underlines that sufficient funding through the EU programming process is needed for the effective implementation of GAP III; calls strongly for GAP III to be more closely coordinated with other initiatives, such as the Spotlight Initiative, whose budget should be increased, while its effectiveness needs to be improved in line with its recent mid-term assessment, and by drawing lessons from the new context created by the COVID-19 pandemic; welcomes the Spotlight Initiative and its aim of eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls; calls for the funds allocated to the Spotlight Initiative to be renewed after the current programme ends in 2022, and for the programme to be prolonged throughout the whole multiannual financing period and across sub-regions;

18.  Underlines that SDG 5 is to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls, and that this goal must be mainstreamed into the various areas in which the EU is empowered to act; deplores the fact that SDG 5 is one of the three least well-funded SDGs; notes with appreciation that GAP III considers gender equality to be a cross-cutting priority of EU external action in its policy and programming work; reiterates the need for gender mainstreaming to be appropriately integrated across all sectors of EU external action, and that the priorities of Global Europe in partner countries, as well as Team Europe Initiatives, should be gender transformative, in accordance with GAP III, and especially in the case of humanitarian aid;

19.  Welcomes the fact that 85 % of all new external actions will be required to incorporate gender as a significant or principal objective; welcomes the Commission’s aim of having gender equality as the main objective of 5 % of its new external action programmes; further welcomes the inclusion of at least one initiative per country with gender equality as its main objective; recalls that the 5 % target was already achieved in 2019 and calls for greater ambition, increased support and concrete earmarked funding for gender-targeted initiatives to be included in GAP III; calls for 20 % of official development aid (ODA) in each country to be allocated to programmes with gender equality as one of their principal objectives; calls for the establishment of a specific target of 85 % of the EU’s ODA funding being dedicated to programmes which have gender equality as a principal or significant objective; expects, and therefore calls for, the EU and the Member States to commit to no ODA being spent on projects that could reverse or harm gender equality achievements; stresses that the objectives set should also be quantified in terms of dedicated funding and not just as a percentage of the overall programmes;

20.  Urges the Commission and the EEAS to lead by example and focus on their own internal structures; stresses the importance of gender-responsive leadership in achieving gender equality and the proper implementation of GAP III; welcomes the commitment to ensure gender-balanced management in the EEAS’s headquarters (HQ) and in external Commission services, EU delegations and common security and defence policy (CSDP) missions; regrets the fact, however, that the EEAS is far from achieving the target of 50 % women in management positions and calls on the current VP/HR to fully implement gender equality at all levels as planned; welcomes the commitment to introduce gender equality and GAP III training for all managers at HQ and EU delegations, and calls for this measure to be mandatory and extended to all staff working in EU external action;

21.  Notes that the EEAS should take the lead in making gender a key component of external action, and that it should incentivise and politically back the EU delegations to do the same at partner country level; stresses the need for the mission letters and job descriptions of Heads of Delegation to include specific reference to gender equality, implementing GAP III, and the importance of EU delegations and Member States systematically working together and consulting each other in order to ensure the full integration of the GAP and its gender-transformative, human rights-based, intersectional approach into the planning of the multiannual indicative programmes; welcomes GAP III’s commitment to ensure that that all EU delegation and HQ external services have Gender Advisors / Gender Focal Persons/Points (GFP) but stresses the need for these positions to be full-time and to be equipped with sufficient resources to perform their tasks; calls once again for gender advisers also to be appointed in military CSDP missions;

22.  Calls on the Commission and the EEAS to collect relevant human resources data, disaggregated by gender, to assess the numbers of nominations, shortlisted candidates, selections, contract extensions and length of deployment, among other criteria, and to track progress, as well as to conduct systematised interviews with women and people belonging to disadvantaged groups about their reasons for leaving posts;

23.  Regrets the fact that the important issue of diversity has been grouped into the role of the EEAS Advisor on Gender and Diversity, and calls on the EEAS to accord the necessary importance to both gender equality and the WPS Agenda, as well as to diversity and inclusion, and to establish one role for each of these issues, and to strengthen these roles, their mandates, resources and powers; calls for the appointment of a dedicated gender adviser in each EEAS directorate, reporting directly to the EEAS Advisor on Gender and Diversity, and to encourage their staff to work closely with the European Institute for Gender Equality;

24.  Stresses that gender equality is a human right, crucial to sustainable development and smart economies, benefiting both women and men, in all their diversity, including the LGBTQI+ community; notes that gender inequality is exacerbated by other forms of inequality; stresses that inequalities have far-reaching socio-economic consequences for societies as a whole and that this should be taken into account by change-resistant stakeholders; emphasises that all EU commitments will be more effective if EU action takes an intersectional approach to gender equality; reiterates the call for all EU action to take into account intersecting identities and to recognise that women and girls in all their diversity are not affected equally by gender inequalities;

25.  Welcomes the inclusion of intersectionality as a core principle of GAP III, but regrets the lack of targets, indicators and specific actions in order to implement it; emphasises the commitment of the Commission and the EEAS to protect and enable LGBTQI+ people to assert their rights around the world;

26.  Welcomes the reference made in GAP III to the potential of the EU accession process to promote gender equality in candidate and potential candidate countries; stresses the need for a strong policy dialogue and technical assistance to bring gender equality into the enlargement and neighbourhood policies; calls on the Commission and the EEAS to make further use of accession negotiations as leverage to make enlargement deliver for women;

27.  Welcomes the fact that GAP III addresses the extreme vulnerability of migrant women and girls; calls for particular attention to be paid to the situation of women and girls on the move, on migration routes or in camps, and specifically calls for their access to water, sanitation and hygiene, SRHR and maternal healthcare to be guaranteed;

Seven areas of action

Eliminating all forms of gender-based violence

28.  Welcomes the fact that the first area of engagement of GAP III focuses on eliminating all forms of gender-based violence; calls for enhanced, coordinated and holistic action to combat femicide, and all types of gender-based violence online and offline, to be stepped up, particularly in conflict and emergency situations where women and girls are in more vulnerable situations, and focusing on women and girls who are more likely to be victims of violence such as women and girls with disabilities; stresses the need to work with partner countries with a view to criminalising all forms of gender-based violence;

29.  Calls for urgent action to address the root causes of violence against women and girls, with a gender-transformative and intersectional approach, especially considering the substantial increase in femicide and other forms of gender-based violence in the context of the pandemic; welcomes the Commission’s focus on promoting prevention by challenging harmful gender norms; stresses, in this regard, that it is essential to work with partner countries and CSOs to combat gender stereotypes in every aspect of social life; calls on EU delegations and Member States to deploy all possible diplomatic means to promote the adoption of legislation providing for structural gender equality in every aspect;

30.  Recalls that mandatory training for all staff in the EEAS, the Commission, EU delegations and CSDP missions and operations should comprise comprehensive programmes for the identification of victims of conflict-related sexual and/or gender-based violence, as well as prevention programmes, in addition to training for all EU staff, including military and police staff; urges the EU to exercise all possible leverage to ensure that the perpetrators of mass rapes in warfare are reported, identified, prosecuted and punished in accordance with international criminal law; recalls that the Rome Statute provides a permanent legal framework to extensively address sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) as a crime against humanity and calls, therefore, for the EU to actively support the independent and essential activity of the International Criminal Court both politically and financially; welcomes the inclusion of SGBV within the criteria for the imposition of sanctions in the framework of the EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime, and encourages Member States to make effective use of it;

31.  Stresses that forced and child marriage is a human rights violation which makes girls particularly vulnerable to violence and abuse; points out that female genital mutilation (FGM) is internationally recognised as a human rights violation, with 200 million victims worldwide and 500 000 victims in the EU alone, and at least three million girls are at risk of genital mutilation every year; underlines that FGM and forced marriage are an affront to the dignity of women as persons; calls for integrated action to raise awareness of and prevent FGM and forced marriages, particularly in conflict and emergency contexts; calls on the Commission to ensure a coherent long-term approach to stopping FGM both within and outside the EU by improving synergies between internal and external EU programmes; reiterates its call to incorporate FGM prevention measures into all policy areas in its external action;

32.  Points out that the victims of trafficking and sexual exploitation are mainly women and girls; calls for greater leadership and monitoring from the Commission and the Member States, and increased international cooperation to end the above-mentioned harmful practices resulting in such forms of enslavement; recalls that the vulnerability of women to trafficking and sexual exploitation is exacerbated during times of economic hardship, armed conflict and emergency situations; calls for further integration of the fight against trafficking of women and girls into the objectives of GAP III and for increased synergies with the EU Strategy on Combatting Trafficking in Human Beings (2021-2025);

Ensuring access to healthcare for women and sexual and reproductive rights

33.  Reiterates that SRHR are human rights and constitute fundamental elements of human dignity and women’s empowerment; expresses concern at the backlash against gender equality and women’s rights, and the rise of misogynistic conservative rhetoric and organised religious and other groupings, which is threatening to undermine, among other things, access to SRHR both inside and outside the European Union; stresses that legislative rollbacks on abortion undermine the protection of women’s health, rights and dignity, and put the most socially and economically vulnerable women at a greater risk; notes that the EU should be a leading example worldwide in terms of promoting SRHR, free from coercion, violence, discrimination and abuse; calls, therefore, on all Member States to ensure universal access to SRHR in their territories;

34.  Deplores the fact that access to sexual and reproductive health, including safe and legal abortion, has been seriously curtailed and often criminalised in many regions worldwide; stresses that poor, rural and minority women are the main victims; underlines the need to focus on all age groups, including girls and younger women, and provide relevant information, education and access to SRHR, including pre-natal care, safe and legal abortion and contraception; stresses the importance of continuing to challenge the discriminatory norms that make it difficult for women, girls and LGBTQI+ people to enjoy their SRHR, as well as stereotypes that lead to discrimination against marginalised women during childbirth;

35.  Stresses the importance of improving the availability of contraception methods in partner countries, especially for adolescent girls; affirms that all women and adolescent girls are entitled to make their own free and informed choices with regard to their SRHR; recalls that the quality of maternal healthcare is an important indicator of the development of a country; believes that the EU should help partner countries to uphold the right to health in the context of pregnancy and childbirth through the establishment of decent maternal health services that effectively decrease infant mortality and deaths related to complications during childbirth;

36.  Calls for GAP III to give a high priority to gender equality and SRHR in the EU and Member States’ humanitarian aid response, as well as accountability and access to justice and redress for sexual and reproductive rights violations and gender-based violence, both in terms of providing training to humanitarian actors and of funding;

37.  Calls for GAP III to attach greater importance to SRHR, given the serious repercussions the pandemic has had on women and girls in partner countries, and for adequate, flexible continuous and targeted funding to be coordinated and allocated to them when programming the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument – Global Europe; calls on the Commission, the EEAS and the Member States to consider SRHR as a priority in the EU’s external action programming process, including in joint programming; underlines the crucial role of non-governmental organisations as service providers and advocates for SRHR;

38.  Stresses the importance of SRHR with regard to women’s and girls’ bodies and their autonomy, and urges that SRHR be treated as public health issues accessible to all without discrimination; calls for universal access to comprehensive, age-appropriate sexuality education (CSE), effective contraception, prevention of HIV and sexually transmitted infections, and safe and legal abortion; calls for CSE programmes to address interpersonal relationships, sexual orientation, gender equality, gender norms, the prevention of gender-based violence and consent, and to provide information about puberty, the menstrual cycle, pregnancy and childbirth, contraception and the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases;

39.  Highlights the need to take age into account in SRHR-related actions, for example by ensuring accessible, youth-friendly information and services; stresses that the EU should promote partner countries including these issues in their national public health plans; calls for the EU and the Member States to commit to GAP III’s objectives on SRHR and to prepare ‘country-level implementation plans’ prioritising SRHR;

40.  Stresses the need to encourage access to education at all levels and in all circumstances with a view to reducing early marriage, teenage pregnancy and economic dependency; calls for increased efforts to prevent absenteeism in order to enable girls who become mothers to return to school and complete their education and be included in the labour market;

41.  Calls for measures to prevent girls from missing school during their periods by improving water sanitation, hygiene services and menstrual hygiene facilities on school premises and by tackling period poverty and combating stigmatisation in this area, including working with women, girls and men and boys; calls for greater synergies between programmes addressing health, SRHR and water, sanitation and hygiene services in schools and personal support for girls;

42.  Draws attention to the intersectional inequalities and disparities between women and men regarding access to healthcare and the quality of the healthcare provided, taking into account the lack of gender-responsive healthcare and services; calls for universal access to facilities for information on, and to the prevention, diagnosis, care and treatment of, female diseases, such as endometriosis and cervical cancer, and sexually transmitted diseases, such as HIV; calls for the European Union to support the implementation of the WHO’s global strategy to accelerate the elimination of cervical cancer;

43.  Calls on the partner countries to adequately fund and strengthen their public health systems and to carry out research into women’s health worldwide in order to advance knowledge of gender and sex-related issues in the areas of disease prevention, diagnosis, treatment and research; further calls for the public’s awareness of gender-related health issues to be raised;

44.  Stresses the need for Member States to adopt a public health policy that places special emphasis on health promotion and disease prevention by guaranteeing universal and high-quality healthcare and ensuring the availability of the necessary resources to combat the main public health problems;

Promoting economic and social rights and equality, and ensuring the autonomy of women and girls

45.  Reiterates that the crisis and the economic and social consequences resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic are disproportionally affecting women’s access to the labour market; stresses the importance and the need for the EU to support the development and inclusion of an intersectional gender dimension in all COVID-19 recovery plans in partner countries and Team Europe initiatives; emphasises the need for a gender-sensitive response to COVID-19 in the implementation of GAP III in order to take account of the unique circumstances of women and girls and to stimulate post-crisis opportunities; calls on the Commission to mainstream the gender dimension and include gender-transformative actions in all measures related to the COVID-19 pandemic in partner countries, including in recovery plans and measures, and to support projects, including financial projects, in such a way as to include gender equality; stresses that new forms of financing such as gender bonds could kick-start national economies while empowering women;

46.  Takes the view that work is central to tackling inequality; supports collective bargaining as a means not only to enhance working conditions but also to tackle inequality between men and women;

47.  Welcomes the fact that the Commission intends to require compliance with the relevant ILO and UN conventions regarding gender equality in its upcoming review of the Generalised Scheme of Preferences Regulation; calls on the Commission to effectively include gender equality in all Trade and Sustainable Development chapters and to ensure that trade and investment do not exacerbate gender inequality; stresses that all impact assessments linked to trade should take into account CSOs’ views;

48.  Stresses that financial support for women must be accompanied by training, access to information, upskilling and awareness-raising on their fundamental rights;

49.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to work with partner countries to prevent and tackle harassment of women at work, as well as to promote the ratification of the ILO Violence and Harassment Convention (No. 190);

50.  Calls for GAP III to promote women’s economic activity and their access to the necessary economic and social tools, and resources and social protection, especially in emergency contexts; stresses the importance of women’s participation in the economy worldwide for sustainable development and sustained and inclusive economic growth, intrinsically linked to the global goal of eradicating poverty as outlined in the SDGs; calls on the Commission and the Member States to support and promote gender-responsive social protection mechanisms, including cash transfers, to enhance the capacity of partner countries in responding to crises and external shocks;

51.  Calls for the EU and partner countries to adopt measures to help make women more employable and provide them with decent jobs, access to finance and business opportunities, including by supporting local women-led organisations, and encouraging their participation in trade and labour unions; highlights the importance of boosting access to, for example, micro credit with a view to facilitating and stimulating women’s creativity and entrepreneurship on a smaller scale;

52.  Highlights the need to consider the complementarity of other actions to ensure their effectiveness, such as the freedom from gender-based violence, access to decent work and affordable child and elderly care; calls for the EU and its Member States to empower and protect mothers and fathers worldwide, and to work with partner countries to guarantee adequate maternity, paternity and parental leave, and to adopt practical measures to ensure that protection, alongside investment in childcare and education services;

53.  Stresses that the EU should support the creation of a Binding Instrument on Business and Human Rights within the UN framework in order to fully guarantee the enjoyment of human rights and women’s rights;

54.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to work with partner countries to fund and promote measures that address the disproportionate burden of unpaid work that women have to bear, and to support actions helping women workers moving from the informal to the formal economy; underlines that women and men should equally share unpaid care and domestic responsibilities; calls for concrete steps to be taken towards recognising, reducing and redistributing unpaid care and domestic work;

55.  Calls for the active promotion of women’s role and participation in the economy and society and recognition of their civil and legal rights, including the right to own property, access to bank loans and the right to participate in different economic sectors and in political life, most notably through the promotion of gender-responsive macroeconomic policies; regrets the fact that the right to equal pay for equal work of equal value is not a given in many circumstances, both inside and outside the EU, even when enshrined in law, and stresses that the root cause of this discrimination needs to be addressed;

56.  Underlines that it is essential that the private sector get involved in achieving the objectives set out in GAP III and is held to account in the event of violations of women’s rights committed in the course of corporate activities; calls on the Commission to include the gender perspective in its upcoming legislative proposal on corporate due diligence;

57.  Stresses that women’s economic and social autonomy is crucial for sustainable and inclusive growth; calls for a comprehensive effort to provide girls and women with access to high-quality education and quality training on skills, and effective tools contributing to their access to the labour market, particularly in emergency and displacement settings; strongly recommends that partner countries boost investment in quality and inclusive education, with support from the EU budget; underlines that EU budget support, which has proven its efficiency in the field of education, remains the favoured means to allow access to inclusive and quality education to all in developing countries; welcomes the intention to increase overall funding for education, with 10 % of the humanitarian aid budget to be devoted to funding for education in emergencies;

58.  Stresses the need to support substantial investment in health and education services, affordable housing and safe, affordable and accessible public transport, both in rural and urban areas, with a view to meeting public needs and contributing to the independence, equality and emancipation of women; recalls that special attention must be paid to these issues in fragile and post-conflict states, where the EU will also implement development projects to help address the lack of housing, land and property rights for women;

59.  Expresses its concerns about the increase in the digital gender gap in many countries, which impedes equal access to information and digital services; stresses the importance of promoting digital literacy, as well as access to and the affordability of digital tools and in accessing the labour market; calls for increased and targeted funding and scholarships to enable women and girls to access higher education and vocational training, in particular with a view to promoting the digital and technological education of girls, and women’s participation in STEM fields, and to support female-led projects; welcomes GAP III’s determination to bridge the digital gender gap in order to drive a truly inclusive digital transformation;

60.  Recalls that women, specifically those facing intersectional discrimination, may face difficulties in accessing digital services and related infrastructure; calls for women and girls, especially those living in rural and remote areas, to be given better, universal, safe and secure access to digital tools and training in the use thereof;

61.  Stresses the need to support the provision of public and private services through gender-responsive digital channels, technologies and services (for example, e-government, digital financial services) that will enhance women’s and girls’ inclusion and participation in society; calls on the Member States to tackle the digital exclusion of all vulnerable groups in society and to make education in information and communications technology accessible to them, while taking into account the different factors determining women’s access to education, as well as by creating free-of-charge digital access points;

62.  Calls for EU support for the modernisation and digitalisation of administrative procedures in partner countries, in particular to ensure that all these countries have reliable civil registers that record every birth;

63.  Acknowledges that emergencies, such as armed conflict and economic crises, and displacement settings, put women’s and girls’ education and training at risk; reiterates that women’s access to livelihoods and labour opportunities is seriously affected during emergencies and stresses, therefore, the importance of the necessary funds being allocated in such cases, especially to local women-led organisations and to existing structures, in order to improve the structures that ensure the right development of their education, skills and access to jobs in the long term;

64.  Notes that food insecurity affects women asymmetrically, and that they own disproportionately less land, livestock and other assets; calls on the Commission and the Member States to support the aim of achieving gender equality in the food and agriculture sector, financial opportunities and access to training in order to empower women in agriculture; notes the importance of supporting the efforts of partner countries in legal, policy and institutional reforms to give women equal rights to economic resources, particularly access to and control over land and other forms of property;

65.  Calls for the EU to promote economic and trade policies consistent with the SDGs and the objectives of GAP III; recalls its previous position on trade and gender as outlined in its resolution of 13 March 2018 on gender equality in EU trade agreements(12); calls for the EU to continue to support and introduce trade policies that reduce socio-economic gaps and ensure a high level of protection and respect for fundamental freedoms and human rights, including gender equality;

66.  Welcomes the fact that GAP III calls for the promotion of gender equality through the EU’s trade policy; calls on the Commission, the Council and the EEAS to promote and support the inclusion of a specific gender chapter in all EU trade and investment agreements, including commitments to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment; calls on the Commission to include the gender impact of EU trade policy and agreements in ex ante and ex post impact assessments;

67.  Stresses its previous position calling for a specific chapter on trade and gender equality and women’s empowerment in the upcoming modernisation of the EU-Chile Association Agreement; observes with interest the progress made on a trade and gender chapter in the negotiations;

68.  Recalls its resolution of 25 November 2010 on human rights and social and environmental standards in international trade agreements(13);

69.  Notes that trade policy is not gender neutral and that better collection of gender-disaggregated data, together with clear indicators, is needed to adequately assess the different impacts of trade policy on women and men; reiterates its call for the EU and its Member States to draw inspiration from the toolkit developed by the UN Conference on Trade and Development and to include in ex ante impact assessments and in ex post evaluations the country-specific and sector-specific gender impact of EU trade policy and agreements; calls on the Commission to work together with international partners, such as the WTO, and local authorities and organisations to collect data, analyse the impact of trade on women and translate data into concrete proposals to improve women’s role in the international trade system and promote inclusive economic growth; stresses that intensified cooperation between international organisations such as the WTO, the International Trade Centre and the UN, and the creation of networks involving academia, CSOs and parliaments can lead to better sharing of best practices and methods for collecting data, and to the inclusion of a gender perspective in trade; insists that gender issues should not be limited to the Trade and Sustainable Development chapter;

70.  Calls for the Commission to engage actively in the recently established WTO Informal Working Group on Trade and Gender to work towards a strong Ministerial Declaration in the 12th Ministerial Conference that could serve as a roadmap for the implementation of the 2017 Buenos Aires Declaration; underlines that the Informal Working Group on Trade and Gender is a first step towards a more permanent platform in the WTO to discuss issues related to trade and gender; calls on the Commission to continue to proactively engage with other WTO members to contribute to the work of the Informal Working Group, and to explore the possibility of establishing a permanent working group;

71.  Recalls its demand to the Commission that the composition of the Domestic Advisory Groups be gender-balanced, that their monitoring role be further extended, and that a Trade and Gender Committee be established under each Free Trade Agreement to identify shortcomings;

72.  Calls on the Commission to carefully evaluate the impact of trade agreements on sectors with a high percentage of women workers, such as the garment sector and small-scale agriculture; recalls that the economic crisis caused by COVID-19 has strongly affected these sectors and exacerbated the risk of increasing inequality, discrimination against and the exploitation of female workers;

73.  Calls on the Commission to ensure that sufficient resources are available, and to disclose the resources allocated, to promote the core value of gender equality in its trade and investment policies and to ensure that the secretariats of the EU institutions responsible for trade policy and negotiations have the knowledge and technical capacity to incorporate the gender perspective into the entire process of trade negotiations and policy formulation, by appointing gender focal points in the EU institutions and delegations;

74.  Calls for the inclusion of enforceable provisions in all Trade and Sustainable Development chapters based on respecting the ILO core labour standards and relevant conventions, in particular Convention No. 189 on Domestic Workers, Convention No. 156 on Workers with Family Responsibilities, CEDAW, Convention No. 111 concerning Discrimination (Employment and Occupation), Convention No. 100 on Equal Remuneration and Convention No. 190 on Violence and Harassment, and for these conventions to be included in the list of conventions in the GSP+ review;

75.  Welcomes the International Organization for Standardization International Workshop Agreement (ISO/IWA 34) on global definitions related to women’s entrepreneurship, which aims to facilitate policymaking, data collection and access to capacity building, finance and markets for women’s economic empowerment;

76.  Welcomes the accomplishments made so far on gender in the lending policies of the European Investment Bank (EIB) and calls on the EIB to scale up its efforts and, in particular, to take into account to the maximum extent possible the policy goals of GAP III in its external lending mandate;

77.  Stresses that the EIB and other relevant European development financial institutions should be fully aligned with GAP III; calls on the EIB to take into account the objectives of GAP III when providing support to undertakings in partner countries through impact assessments that should be carried out for every project funded by the EIB, and calls for the continuous monitoring of operations on the ground;

Encouraging participation and leadership by women, girls and young women

78.  Stresses the importance of women’s and girls’ leadership and participation at all levels of decision-making and that the equal participation of women, in public and political life is essential to good governance and policy-making; underlines the importance of having women represented on both sides of the negotiating table at all levels of external action; reiterates that when women and girls lead equally, entire communities benefit from better and more durable solutions; notes that women are under-represented at every level of political and public life and that progress is slow;

79.  Calls for programme funding to promote the training, civic engagement and participation of women, including supporting community-level participatory approaches and specific educational activities for girls and young women, since they are among the most affected by discrimination; calls for the inclusion of women at all levels of decision-making, government, leadership and positions of power, via public administration reforms, programmes and activities such as networking, exchanges, mentoring and sponsorship, and advocates the inclusion of local women’s rights organisations and women-led front line humanitarian responders in humanitarian coordination and decision-making structures;

Involving women in peacebuilding and security initiatives

80.  Stresses the importance of the contribution made by women and civil society to promoting dialogue, forging coalitions and mediating for peace, and bringing different perspectives on what peace and security mean, in particular in conflict prevention, resolution and post-conflict reconstruction; calls for the EU to promote greater participation by women in peacekeeping and further peacebuilding, and to support and recognise women, young women, girls and women human rights defenders as key drivers of change, and to support and protect them; stresses that respect for, and the full realisation of, the human rights of women are the foundations of a democratic and inclusive society;

81.  Welcomes the integration of the EU Action Plan on WPS into GAP III and calls for its effective implementation; highlights the important role played by existing and successful local peacebuilding initiatives led by women and women human rights defenders, and calls for the EU to support, enhance and systematically include these initiatives in peacebuilding consultations, coordination and decision-making;

82.  Calls on the EEAS to undertake systematic conflict analysis with an integrated gender perspective based on gender analysis and gender-inclusive conflict analysis, in particular with regard to CSDP missions and operations and activities under the European Peace Facility; stresses the need for sufficient resources to build and strengthen EU expertise and capacity to conduct risk and conflict analyses with an integrated gender perspective, which should involve paying specific attention to gender equality and ensuring the meaningful participation of women and disadvantaged groups;

83.  Points out the importance of linking the concept of human security and the gender approach; calls for the EU to use the concept of human security as set out in UN General Assembly Resolution 66/290 and in its WPS agenda; insists that security must focus on human lives and their protection from threats such as violence, lack of education, healthcare, food or economic independence; calls on the Commission, the EEAS and the Member States to develop and promote the UN disarmament agenda; insists on having a feminist foreign policy on disarmament and non-proliferation;

84.  Points out that women are disproportionately affected by conflict-related sexual violence and other human rights violations perpetrated with impunity, including a higher risk of trafficking in human beings; stresses the need to ensure that women and girls who have suffered sexual violence in conflict zones and countries receive appropriate and holistic care and treatment, and effective and prompt reparations; notes that this system is already working where it is has been put in place and that it also helps to reintegrate these victims into society; recalls the importance of combating the stigmatisation of victims; calls for the continuity of support for measures providing women in conflict and emergency contexts with SRHR care packages, by funding and supporting front line organisations and women-led organisations;

85.  Recalls that women and girls are disproportionally affected by armed conflict; deplores the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and insists on the urgent need to combat it, as well as to combat impunity, by bringing perpetrators to justice; further stresses that women are often the first victims of displacement in conflict areas, and are frequently deprived of their economic autonomy and of access to education and reliable sexual and reproductive health services; highlights the need to ensure access to education and jobs for those displaced by conflict or natural disasters; calls on the Commission and the Member States to work with partner countries and their armed forces to ensure proper enforcement of the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the protection of persons in time of war, with a specific focus on preventing and punishing sexual violence;

86.  Regrets the lack of consideration in GAP III of cultural heritage across countries and women’s role in its protection and development; calls on the Commission and the EEAS to develop programmes aimed at protecting and recognising the cultural heritage and traditions developed by women, which frequently go unnoticed, especially throughout the whole conflict cycle;

Ensuring gender-responsive humanitarian action

87.  Regrets that the recent Commission communication on the EU’s humanitarian action: new challenges, same principles (COM(2021)0110), does not sufficiently address the gender perspective in humanitarian settings; calls on the Commission to provide more concrete proposals on specific expenditure, programmes, tracking and assessment of gender-related activities in humanitarian settings, and to elaborate measures to further develop adapted and efficient gender-responsive EU humanitarian action, given the opportunity presented by the humanitarian-development-peace triple nexus approach to protect women’s and girls’ rights and promote gender equality in all contexts;

Building a green and digital society

88.  Welcomes the inclusion in GAP III of the priority area on climate change, given that climate change is not gender neutral, as it acts as an amplifier of existing gender inequalities, especially for the poor, young people and indigenous people, and especially in fragile environments; appreciates the EU’s determination to address gender issues in the context of the green transition, given the intersectional and disproportionate impact of climate change on women and girls, particularly in developing countries; stresses the necessity of including, listening to and empowering women and girls in the design and implementation of effective approaches to climate mitigation and adaptation in partner countries, thereby ensuring effective gender-transformative climate action; calls for the EU to lead by example by including, without delay, a gender perspective and targets on gender equality in the European Green Deal and related initiatives;

89.  Reiterates that gender equality is a prerequisite for sustainable development and in order to achieve a fair and just transition which leaves no one behind; reiterates, therefore, its call for the Green Deal for Europe to be swiftly followed by ‘Green Deal Diplomacy’ that systematically includes a gender and intersectional perspective, and involves women and girls, including indigenous women, in strategic decision-making on climate change adaptation;

90.  Points out that women and women’s organisations are at the forefront when it comes to finding solutions and providing expertise in the fields of agriculture, climate, energy and preserving biodiversity, and are on the front line in combating climate change; calls for them to be given support in the form of adequate and flexible funding, legislative framework provisions and access to land and resources, and cooperation with the private and financial sectors; reiterates the role of gender-responsive adaptation, including climate-smart agriculture, disaster risk reduction, the circular economy and the sustainable management of natural resources;

91.  Calls for women and girls to be given better access to digital tools and training in the use thereof and for measures to be taken to promote their advancement in the STEM professions;

92.  Stresses that social networks are a source of gender-based discrimination and harassment; stresses the need for governments to step up efforts to better regulate these networks, together with digital platforms in order to combat gender-based online violence and cyberbullying; recognises that this is a major barrier for women’s and girls’ access to digital spaces and their participation online and severely hinders girls’ and women’s political participation, especially for women and girls with intersectional identities, who report higher rates of online harassment; calls for targeted protection mechanisms for women online and for a greater involvement of women in the design, manufacture and development of artificial intelligence applications in order to combat the perpetuation of gender stereotyping and prejudices; calls for the enforcement of proper criminal law provisions to counter online abuse, threatening messages, sexual harassment and the sharing of private images without consent;

93.  Notes that e-commerce has the potential to connect more female entrepreneurs with international markets; calls, however, for the Commission to support women in adopting new technologies such as blockchain that, owing to its peer-to-peer nature, anonymity and efficiency, can help certain women to overcome some discriminatory legal and cultural barriers to trade, improve their access to finance and help them to integrate into global value chains;

Creating a true Generation Equality

94.  Reiterates the need for the EU to play a leading role at multilateral level in promoting feminist diplomacy in order to implement international agreements pertaining to the rights and empowerment of women and girls; calls for the EU, its Member States, the Commission and the EEAS to commit to advance towards a feminist foreign, security and development policy that entails a gender-transformative vision and to make gender equality a core part of their external actions and priorities;

95.  Welcomes the EUR 33 billion pledged by governments around the world, the private sector and civil society at the Generation Equality Forum in Paris; calls for an international and efficient accountability system, and calls for the Commission to monitor its agreed commitments and their implementation in practice annually;

96.  Recalls the Commission’s commitment to earmark EUR 4 billion from the external budget for women and girls and to increase funding for women’s organisations; calls for these commitments to be clarified, adequately monitored and translated into practice, and for the establishment of a clear baseline and targets;

97.  Points out once again that intergenerational dialogue and the inclusion of, as well as the commitment on the part of men and boys to advance gender equality are crucial to bringing about societal change and creating a true Generation Equality;

98.  Welcomes GAP III’s recognition of the importance of actively engaging men and boys to promote change in social attitudes and, as a result, broader structural change; emphasises the importance of creating practical ways to involve men and boys as agents of change through setting additional indicators and targets related to the engagement of men and boys and ensuring that GAP III yields positive results for them too;

o
o   o

99.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

(1) OJ L 23, 27.1.2010, p. 35.
(2) OJ L 107, 26.3.2021, p. 1.
(3) OJ L 209, 14.6.2021, p. 1.
(4) OJ C 76, 9.3.2020, p. 168.
(5) OJ C 294, 23.7.2021, p. 8.
(6) OJ C 294, 23.7.2021, p. 58.
(7) OJ C 404, 6.10.2021, p. 202.
(8) OJ C 456, 10.11.2021, p. 191.
(9) OJ C 456, 10.11.2021, p. 232.
(10) OJ C 81, 18.2.2022, p. 63.
(11) OJ C 81, 18.2.2022, p. 43.
(12) OJ C 162, 10.5.2019, p. 9.
(13) OJ C 99 E, 3.4.2012, p. 31.

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