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EU policies – Delivering for citizens: Promoting equality between women and men

28-06-2019

The European Union (EU) is committed to eliminating inequalities and promoting gender equality 'in all its activities' and has made considerable advances over the years. Nevertheless, the situation remains uneven across the EU, and in recent times progress has slowed, stalled or even regressed in some areas. Yet, the evidence points clearly to the benefits of gender equality for individuals, the economy and society as a whole. Public opinion surveys show that a large majority of Europeans agree that ...

The European Union (EU) is committed to eliminating inequalities and promoting gender equality 'in all its activities' and has made considerable advances over the years. Nevertheless, the situation remains uneven across the EU, and in recent times progress has slowed, stalled or even regressed in some areas. Yet, the evidence points clearly to the benefits of gender equality for individuals, the economy and society as a whole. Public opinion surveys show that a large majority of Europeans agree that promoting gender equality is important for a fair and democratic society, the economy and for them personally and that a growing share of citizens would like the EU to do more in this area. Europeans also expect increased EU action on related policies. During the last legislative term, as part of a broader gender equality programme, the EU institutions have been working on proposals for new EU laws to improve work-life balance and combat violence against women. Promoting equality between women and men will remain one of the major challenges in the coming years. Demographic trends, technological developments and changes to the way we work are just some of the issues where different impacts on women and men will need to be considered. Options for further EU involvement could include better implementation and enforcement of existing legislation, moves to modernise it, fill gaps in protection and address emerging issues, and non-legislative measures such as data collection and monitoring, awareness-raising, and support for national and grassroots initiatives. It will require the political will at all levels to tackle issues across a broad spectrum of policies, together with the provision of the necessary institutions, tools and resources to put that resolve into action. This is an update of an earlier briefing issued in advance of the 2019 European elections.

EU policies – Delivering for citizens: Human Rights

28-06-2019

In the 70 years since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – the first international document to set common standards of achievement for all states – the pivotal role and moral, legal and political significance of human rights in the international arena have become indisputable. However, despite considerable progress in many areas on recognition, codification and implementation, human rights have also come under increased attack. Whether in theatres of war or in the political ...

In the 70 years since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – the first international document to set common standards of achievement for all states – the pivotal role and moral, legal and political significance of human rights in the international arena have become indisputable. However, despite considerable progress in many areas on recognition, codification and implementation, human rights have also come under increased attack. Whether in theatres of war or in the political arena, human rights are now often rejected on ideological grounds. The EU itself has not been spared by the current backlash. In its Member States, a populist wave has empowered some political forces that increasingly question the significance of core human rights, such as the right to freedom of expression. In these troubled times for human rights, opinion polls show that European citizens perceive human rights as one of the most important values for them personally and one of the values that best represent the EU itself. Having emerged from World War II and its atrocities, European countries were determined to secure lasting peace, and the Union they created is founded on respect for democracy, the rule of law and human rights, which guide and shape its legislation and policies. Within the EU, recent action has included new legislation on data protection and access to justice, the European Pillar of Social Rights, and initiatives to combat inequality, discrimination and hate speech. There is also an acknowledgement that more needs to be done to complete the legal framework to combat discrimination and strengthen internal mechanisms for upholding the rule of law. Human rights are additionally a general objective of EU external action. The EU is deeply committed to promoting human rights, as enshrined in international treaties, in its relations with third countries and with other multilateral regional and global institutions. During Parliament's last mandate, the EU consistently applied and deepened a range of policy approaches that strengthen its role and image as a normative power that inspires others through its example. Maintaining and consolidating this policy remains vital for preserving the EU's image and credibility as a normative power based on values, and one that has the capacity to act at a time when the principle of multilateralism is increasingly questioned. This is an update of an earlier briefing issued in advance of the 2019 European elections.

A new directive on work-life balance

02-04-2019

Despite significant progress for some social groups in the area of work-life balance, there has been a general trend of decline since 2011, and progress amongst Member States has been uneven. This proposed directive (complemented with non-legislative measures) should lead to the repeal of the existing Framework Agreement on Parental Leave, made binding by Council Directive 2010/18/EU (the Parental Leave Directive). The new directive contains proposals for paternity, parental and carers’ leave. Stakeholders ...

Despite significant progress for some social groups in the area of work-life balance, there has been a general trend of decline since 2011, and progress amongst Member States has been uneven. This proposed directive (complemented with non-legislative measures) should lead to the repeal of the existing Framework Agreement on Parental Leave, made binding by Council Directive 2010/18/EU (the Parental Leave Directive). The new directive contains proposals for paternity, parental and carers’ leave. Stakeholders have been divided over the level of ambition of the proposed measures. Trilogue negotiations started in September 2018, and a provisional agreement among the three institutions was reached after the sixth trilogue meeting, in January 2019. The provisional agreement is less ambitious than the original Commission proposal and the Parliament’s position, which had, in some ways, gone further than the Commission. The text was approved by the Parliament’s Employment and Social Affairs Committee in February 2019, and now needs to be adopted in plenary. Third edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. Please note this document has been designed for on-line viewing.

Zero tolerance for female genital mutilation

05-02-2019

The European Union is committed to working collectively to eradicate female genital mutilation (FGM) as part of broader efforts to combat all forms of violence against women and girls, and to support the efforts of its Member States in this field. The European Commission has undertaken to assess EU efforts to combat FGM every year, on or around the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation on 6 February. This publication is a further update of an 'at a glance' note originally ...

The European Union is committed to working collectively to eradicate female genital mutilation (FGM) as part of broader efforts to combat all forms of violence against women and girls, and to support the efforts of its Member States in this field. The European Commission has undertaken to assess EU efforts to combat FGM every year, on or around the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation on 6 February. This publication is a further update of an 'at a glance' note originally published in January 2015, PE 548.971.

The place of women in European film productions: Fighting the celluloid ceiling

17-01-2019

The sexual assault allegations brought against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein laid bare the painful reality for scores of women working in the film industry around the world. However, sexual harassment is seemingly just the tip of the iceberg in an industry where gender inequalities relating to biased representation and pay are arguably systematic and pervasive. Europe's own film industry has not been spared. The weighted average of films directed by women in the 2012-2016 period is just 19.6 ...

The sexual assault allegations brought against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein laid bare the painful reality for scores of women working in the film industry around the world. However, sexual harassment is seemingly just the tip of the iceberg in an industry where gender inequalities relating to biased representation and pay are arguably systematic and pervasive. Europe's own film industry has not been spared. The weighted average of films directed by women in the 2012-2016 period is just 19.6 %, with country results varying from 5 % (Latvia) to 30 % (Sweden). More worryingly, research shows that the various positions in the film industry appear to be dominated by one or the other gender. Thus, women are over-represented in professions traditionally considered feminine – such as costume design and editing – and under-represented in others viewed as more technical, such as those dealing with sound, music and image. To start redressing these imbalances, various EU-level initiatives have been introduced in support of female film projects. One such example is the LUX Film Prize, through which over the past 11 years the European Parliament has been consistently encouraging the dissemination of films directed by women and portraying strong, inspiring female characters. For its part, the European Commission has started measuring women's participation in key positions in projects supported under the Media strand of its Creative Europe programme. Similarly, it is currently considering specific ways for a more gender-balanced provision of support. Yet again, the cultural support fund of the Council of Europe – Eurimages – committed in its 2018-2020 strategy to achieving equal distribution of co production funding between women and men by the year 2020; the distribution of funding currently stands at 38 %. Sweden is the EU leader in terms of regulatory policies at national level. The critical acclaim won by Swedish female filmmakers in the past 10 years has shown that by applying a methodical and systematic approach it is possible to achieve gender equality without compromising quality.

FEMM Mission to Italy - 17-19 December 2018

13-12-2018

The FEMM Committee requested the Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs to provide a briefing for a mission to Italy (17-19 December 2018). The focus of this FEMM mission is on conscientious objection to abortion in Italy and the trafficking of migrant women for prostitution in Italy. This briefing provides background information on both subjects.

The FEMM Committee requested the Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs to provide a briefing for a mission to Italy (17-19 December 2018). The focus of this FEMM mission is on conscientious objection to abortion in Italy and the trafficking of migrant women for prostitution in Italy. This briefing provides background information on both subjects.

Sexual and reproductive health rights and the implication of conscientious objection

31-10-2018

This study was commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the FEMM Committee. It aims to provide a comparative overview of the situation in the European Union, with particular focus on six selected Member States, in terms of access to sexual and reproductive healthcare goods (such as medicines) and services (such as abortion and family planning), from both legal and practical perspectives. The study looks at the extent ...

This study was commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the FEMM Committee. It aims to provide a comparative overview of the situation in the European Union, with particular focus on six selected Member States, in terms of access to sexual and reproductive healthcare goods (such as medicines) and services (such as abortion and family planning), from both legal and practical perspectives. The study looks at the extent to which conscientious objection affects access to sexual and reproductive rights (SRHR). The study will contribute to formulating a clear framework for the improvement of access to sexual and reproductive healthcare goods and services in the EU.

Autor externo

CF Consulting Services Ltd Ludovica ANEDDA, Lucy ARORA, Luca FAVERO, Nathalie MEURENS, Sophie MOREL, Martha SCHOFIELD (ICF); Senios experts: Prof Anette AGARDH (Lund University), Prof Els LEYE, independent consultant (Ghent University); National researchers: Czech Republic: Klara KOVAROVA (ICF); Croatia: Jelena MILOVANOVIC (ICF); Italy: Thomas TAYLOR-DI PIETRO, Ludovica ANEDDA (ICF); Poland: Krystyna KACPURA, Kamila FERENC (Federation for Women and Family Planning); Portugal: Dália COSTA (University of Lisbon); Sweden: Jack PALMIERI (Lund University).

Cyber violence and hate speech online against women

16-08-2018

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the FEMM Committee, looks into the phenomenon of cyber violence and hate speech online against women in the European Union. After reviewing existing definitions of the different forms of cyber violence, the study assesses the root causes and impact of online violence on women. It continues by analysing and mapping the prevalence, victims and perpetrators. The document ...

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the FEMM Committee, looks into the phenomenon of cyber violence and hate speech online against women in the European Union. After reviewing existing definitions of the different forms of cyber violence, the study assesses the root causes and impact of online violence on women. It continues by analysing and mapping the prevalence, victims and perpetrators. The document ends with an outline of the existing legal framework and recommendations for action within the EU remit.

Autor externo

Adriane VAN DER WILK, Monika NATTER, ÖSB Consulting GmbH

Women in the Western Balkans: Gender equality in the EU accession process

18-07-2018

Equality between women and men, or gender equality, is a fundamental right and a common value, recognised by the EU. It has been a component of the European integration project from its outset. Enshrined in the EU Treaties, gender equality forms part of the accession conditions with which candidate and potential candidates from the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia) have to comply. Investing in gender equality ...

Equality between women and men, or gender equality, is a fundamental right and a common value, recognised by the EU. It has been a component of the European integration project from its outset. Enshrined in the EU Treaties, gender equality forms part of the accession conditions with which candidate and potential candidates from the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia) have to comply. Investing in gender equality, however, is essential not only as an EU requirement, but for an equal society. Although progress has been noted in these countries as regards gender equality, more work is still required. Equal opportunities would allow EU candidate countries to better tap into the potential and skills of women, and underpin achievements in areas such as economic growth, employment and social cohesion, as well as in peace-building. As part of their preparation for an EU future, the Western Balkan countries have taken steps to advance women's rights in recent years. These include adopting or amending relevant legislation (e.g. criminal and labour laws), elaborating national strategies and action plans, and establishing institutional mechanisms to carry out and monitor relevant policies. Nevertheless, promoting gender equality is often sidelined, and the action taken in this respect is insufficient. Ensuring equality between women and men remains 'unfinished business' in a region where traditional gender roles are deep-rooted and social attitudes and lack of awareness of women's rights are at the core of the problem. This Briefing aims to highlight the EU's efforts to promote gender equality as part of EU enlargement policy, and the way the EU strives to mainstream equality across the board. It also aims to cast light on some major challenges that women face in the Western Balkans, such as their weaker roles in economy and politics, and widespread gender-based violence. This follows up the June 2017 briefing on 'Rights and empowerment of women in the Western Balkans'.

Backlash in Gender Equality and Women’s and Girls’ Rights

15-06-2018

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the FEMM Committee, is designed to identify in which fields and by which means the backlash in gender equality and women’s and girls’ rights in six countries (Austria, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia) is occurring. The backlash, which has been happening over the last several years, has decreased the level of protection of women and girls and reduced ...

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the FEMM Committee, is designed to identify in which fields and by which means the backlash in gender equality and women’s and girls’ rights in six countries (Austria, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia) is occurring. The backlash, which has been happening over the last several years, has decreased the level of protection of women and girls and reduced access to their rights.

Autor externo

Borbála JUHÁSZ, indipendent expert to EIGE dr. Enikő PAP, legal expert on gender issues, NANE Women's Rights Association National experts: Christiane Ugbor, Sophie Hansal (Austria), Dr. Gabriella Ilonszki (Hungary), Siusi Casaccia (Italy), Zuzana Maďarová (Slovakia), Laura Albu (Romania), Małgorzata Tarasiewicz (Poland)

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