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Women in politics in the EU: State of play

26-02-2021

One hundred years after women won the vote or were first elected to parliament in some EU countries, the data show that women continue to be under-represented in politics and public life, in the European Parliament, national parliaments and governments, and local assemblies. The arguments for gender balance in politics are numerous, and benefit not only women and female politicians, but also parties themselves and the rest of society. After all, women form half the population and need to be better ...

One hundred years after women won the vote or were first elected to parliament in some EU countries, the data show that women continue to be under-represented in politics and public life, in the European Parliament, national parliaments and governments, and local assemblies. The arguments for gender balance in politics are numerous, and benefit not only women and female politicians, but also parties themselves and the rest of society. After all, women form half the population and need to be better represented in power structures. However, there is now solid evidence both of obstacles and of the strategies that are effective when it comes to increasing women's participation and representation. Here, political parties and the media can be both barriers and important enablers. The EU has committed to achieving a gender balance in political representation and participation as a matter of justice, equality and democracy. Concrete recommendations have been made for achieving this goal, including specific action that could be taken by the EU institutions, national governments, political parties, civil society and the media. The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has shone a spotlight on the issue of women's leadership and its implications for gender equality. This is an update of a Briefing from March 2019, drafted by Rosamund Shreeves and Martina Prpic, PE 635.548.

Covid-19: The need for a gendered response

26-02-2021

In the midst of the current pandemic, adopting a gender perspective may seem a secondary concern. However, pandemics are known to affect women and men differently, making it essential to recognise these differences in order to understand the impacts on individuals and communities and to respond effectively and equitably. There is already clear evidence that the ongoing health, social and economic crisis is having gendered impacts. Disaggregated data show that sex and gender are playing a role in ...

In the midst of the current pandemic, adopting a gender perspective may seem a secondary concern. However, pandemics are known to affect women and men differently, making it essential to recognise these differences in order to understand the impacts on individuals and communities and to respond effectively and equitably. There is already clear evidence that the ongoing health, social and economic crisis is having gendered impacts. Disaggregated data show that sex and gender are playing a role in exposure to the virus and risks of severe outcomes, and that some groups of women and men are particularly vulnerable. Lockdown measures have led to an increase in violence against women and disrupted access to support services. Access to sexual and reproductive healthcare has also been affected. Successive lockdowns have widened the existing gender divide in unpaid care work that was already keeping more women than men out of the labour market. Greater work-life conflict is one of the factors leading to women's employment being worse hit than men's, with potential long-term impacts on women's employment, pay and career advancement. The pandemic has also brought the issue of women's participation in decision-making to the fore. Without a gender-sensitive approach, the pandemic could have far-reaching implications, including a real risk of exacerbating gender inequalities and sending progress into reverse. At the same time, gender mainstreaming tools such as gender impact assessments and gender budgeting exist that could, if used effectively, mitigate the negative consequences and contribute to achieving gender equality. Internationally and within the European Union (EU), there have been calls for gender-sensitive emergency and long-term responses. In January 2021, the European Parliament adopted a resolution setting out recommendations on both aspects.

Zero tolerance for female genital mutilation

04-02-2021

The European Union (EU) 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 supporting 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 6 February – the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation. This publication is a further update of an 'at a glance' note ...

The European Union (EU) 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 supporting 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 6 February – the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation. This publication is a further update of an 'at a glance' note originally published in January 2015.

Women's rights: 25-year review of the Beijing Platform for Action

04-02-2021

Last year marked the 25th anniversary of the fourth United Nations World Conference on Women in Beijing, regarded as a turning point for the global agenda on gender equality. The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BPfA) adopted at the conference is considered the international 'Bill of Rights' for women, defining women's rights as human rights and setting goals across a range of issues affecting women and girls. Under the BPfA, the EU and its Member States committed to achieving concrete ...

Last year marked the 25th anniversary of the fourth United Nations World Conference on Women in Beijing, regarded as a turning point for the global agenda on gender equality. The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BPfA) adopted at the conference is considered the international 'Bill of Rights' for women, defining women's rights as human rights and setting goals across a range of issues affecting women and girls. Under the BPfA, the EU and its Member States committed to achieving concrete targets in twelve critical areas. The 25-year review was disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, which is now also having substantive impacts on gender equality per se. The European Commission and Council are expected to report on Europe’s progress on the BPfA and future challenges, during the European Parliament’s plenary session in February 2021.

Achieving gender equality in the face of the pandemic and existing challenges

13-01-2021

In March 2020, the European Commission released its new European Union (EU) Gender Equality Strategy for 2020-2025, setting out measures to tackle persistent gender inequalities and bring a gender perspective to future priorities such as the digital and green transitions. Since the Strategy's release, the coronavirus pandemic has exposed and exacerbated gender inequalities, creating further challenges. Reports on the EU Gender Equality Strategy, women's participation in the digital economy and the ...

In March 2020, the European Commission released its new European Union (EU) Gender Equality Strategy for 2020-2025, setting out measures to tackle persistent gender inequalities and bring a gender perspective to future priorities such as the digital and green transitions. Since the Strategy's release, the coronavirus pandemic has exposed and exacerbated gender inequalities, creating further challenges. Reports on the EU Gender Equality Strategy, women's participation in the digital economy and the gender impacts of the pandemic are due to be put before the European Parliament during its plenary session in January.

The rights of LGBTI people in the European Union

20-11-2020

The prohibition of discrimination and the protection of human rights are important elements of the EU legal order. Nevertheless, discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people persists throughout the EU and takes various forms, including verbal abuse and physical violence. Sexual orientation is now recognised in EU law as grounds of discrimination. However, the scope of the provisions dealing with this issue is limited and does not cover social protection, ...

The prohibition of discrimination and the protection of human rights are important elements of the EU legal order. Nevertheless, discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people persists throughout the EU and takes various forms, including verbal abuse and physical violence. Sexual orientation is now recognised in EU law as grounds of discrimination. However, the scope of the provisions dealing with this issue is limited and does not cover social protection, healthcare, education or access to goods and services, leaving LGBTI people particularly vulnerable in these areas. Moreover, EU competence does not extend to recognition of marital or family status. In this area, national regulations vary, with some Member States offering same-sex couples the right to marry, others allowing alternative forms of registration, and yet others not providing any legal status for same-sex couples. Same-sex couples may or may not have the right to adopt children and to access assisted reproduction. These divergent legal statuses have implications, for instance, for partners from two Member States with different standards who want to formalise/legalise their relationship, or for same-sex couples and their families wishing to move to another Member State. Combating discrimination has become part of EU internal and external policies, and is the subject of numerous resolutions of the European Parliament. However, action in this area remains problematic when it touches on issues pertaining to areas traditionally the preserve of Member States, such as marital status and family law. This is a further updated version of a briefing originally drafted by Piotr Bakowski. The previous edition was published in May 2019.

The Istanbul Convention: A tool to tackle violence against women and girls

20-11-2020

The Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention) is the first instrument in Europe to set legally binding standards specifically to prevent gender-based violence, protect victims of violence and punish perpetrators. Following the EU's signing of the Convention in June 2017, the European Parliament's consent is required for the EU's accession to the Convention. Pending Council's formal request for that consent, Parliament ...

The Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention) is the first instrument in Europe to set legally binding standards specifically to prevent gender-based violence, protect victims of violence and punish perpetrators. Following the EU's signing of the Convention in June 2017, the European Parliament's consent is required for the EU's accession to the Convention. Pending Council's formal request for that consent, Parliament adopted an interim resolution in September 2017, and subsequently reviewed progress towards EU accession, in April and November 2019. EU accession to the Istanbul Convention is one of the priorities in the new EU 2020-2025 gender equality strategy.

Violence against women in the EU: State of play

18-11-2020

Violence against women is a violation of human rights and a form of gender-based discrimination. Rooted in inequalities between men and women, it takes many forms. Estimates of the scale of the problem are alarming. Such violence has a major impact on victims and imposes a significant cost burden on society. The instruments put in place by the United Nations and Council of Europe, including the latter's 'Istanbul Convention', to which the EU plans to accede, are benchmarks in efforts to combat violence ...

Violence against women is a violation of human rights and a form of gender-based discrimination. Rooted in inequalities between men and women, it takes many forms. Estimates of the scale of the problem are alarming. Such violence has a major impact on victims and imposes a significant cost burden on society. The instruments put in place by the United Nations and Council of Europe, including the latter's 'Istanbul Convention', to which the EU plans to accede, are benchmarks in efforts to combat violence against women. The EU is tackling the problem in various ways, but has no binding instrument designed specifically to protect women from violence. Although there are similarities between national policies to combat violence against women, the Member States have adopted different approaches to the problem. Parliament's efforts have focused on strengthening EU policy in the area. Parliament has repeatedly called for a European Union strategy to counter violence against women, including a legally binding instrument. Stakeholders have expressed a range of concerns, also regarding the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and the related need to expand and adapt support for victims, and have highlighted the need for a comprehensive EU political framework on eliminating violence against women. They have also launched new initiatives of their own. This is a further update of an earlier briefing by Anna Dimitrova-Stull, of February 2014. The most recent previous edition was from November 2019.

Stepping up Roma inclusion policies

06-07-2020

The European Commission has announced its intention to adopt a new EU policy framework for tackling socio-economic exclusion and discrimination against people with a Romani background by the end of the year. The European Parliament is drawing up detailed recommendations. In the meantime, a debate and Council and Commission statements are planned for the plenary session in July.

The European Commission has announced its intention to adopt a new EU policy framework for tackling socio-economic exclusion and discrimination against people with a Romani background by the end of the year. The European Parliament is drawing up detailed recommendations. In the meantime, a debate and Council and Commission statements are planned for the plenary session in July.

Beijing Platform for Action: 25-year review and future priorities

27-02-2020

Governments across the world, including the European Union (EU) Member States and the EU itself, committed to working towards gender equality and empowering all women and girls at the 1995 fourth United Nations (UN) World Conference on Women in Beijing. The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BPfA) adopted at the conference is considered the international 'Bill of Rights' for women, defining women's rights as human rights and setting goals and concrete measures across a range of issues affecting ...

Governments across the world, including the European Union (EU) Member States and the EU itself, committed to working towards gender equality and empowering all women and girls at the 1995 fourth United Nations (UN) World Conference on Women in Beijing. The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BPfA) adopted at the conference is considered the international 'Bill of Rights' for women, defining women's rights as human rights and setting goals and concrete measures across a range of issues affecting women and girls. In-depth national, regional and global reviews of its implementation and a set of priorities for future action will mark this 25th anniversary. The review concerning the EU and its Member States shows that efforts to improve gender equality have had some results, but persistent inequalities and gender gaps remain across all the areas of action covered in the BPfA. The collection and use of gender equality data has improved, but it is still uneven, making it difficult to measure the impacts of action and to identify the most disadvantaged groups of women. Gender mainstreaming is not yet applied systematically across all policy areas and funding programmes. Already present in 1995, political and cultural tensions around some areas of women's rights, such as bodily autonomy and control of fertility, have been exacerbated in recent years. In addition, emerging challenges such as climate change have gender dimensions that need to be taken into account. Looking forward, the EU and its Member States have the potential structures, actors and tools to advance gender equality. The European Parliament and women's organisations are urging the EU and national governments to demonstrate a high-level of political commitment in this area, defend the vision and commitments set out in the BPfA, and deliver an ambitious new agenda for the coming years. A more detailed statistical picture of the current situation in the EU and its Member States, in selected fields, is available in a separately published infographic.

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01-03-2021
Decarbonising European industry: hydrogen and other solutions (online event)
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01-03-2021
Hearing on Transport of live animals in third countries
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ANIT
01-03-2021
Exchange of views with HR/VP Josep Borrell
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INGE

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