12 mars 2015

"A major step towards gender equality in Europe"

Civil society and human rights organisations welcome the adoption of the Report on Equality between women and men in the EU (2013) authored by MEP Marc Tarabella.

Despite numerous falsehoods and emotional manipulation spread by anti-human-rights organisations about the Report, the European Parliament has clearly affirmed its will to combat gender-discrimination in Europe.

Adopted with a comfortable majority of 441 votes in favour and 205 votes against, this report addresses persistent and increasing deadlocks on gender equality and proposes actions on a wide range of issues: developing childcare facilities; combating stereotypes against female employment; reducing gender pay and pension gaps; establishing paid paternity leave to enable men and fathers to achieve a better work-life balance and raising awareness on violence against women with a European year dedicated to this issue.

Importantly also, MEPs have clearly agreed that women must have control over their sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), including access to contraception, legal abortion and sexuality education - although the EU can only encourage Member States’ policies on this issue and not initiate policies on its own.
On the 20th anniversary of the Beijing Platform and two days after the International Women’s Day, any other vote from the European Parliament on this issue would have cast a shadow on the institution’s commitment to promote human rights.

We congratulate all MEPs who firmly supported further actions to realize gender equality and women’s rights including SRHR, and thank all the organisations and citizens who mobilised in favour of this report.

Besides the report on Equality there will be a vote on the Annual Report on Human Rights and Democracy in the World 2013 and the European Union’s policy on the matter (authored by Pier Antonio PANZERI) which also contains important recommendations in relation with sexual and reproductive health rights and the rights of LGBT people.

We call all MEPs to remain mobilised and to secure the adoption of such provisions on Thursday 12 March.

Signatories:
European Humanist Federation
Catholics for Choice
European Women Lobby
International Planned Parenthood Federation – EN
EPF- European Parliamentary Forum on Population and Development
ILGA-Europe
For more information, please contact Julie Pernet, European Humanist Federation: julie.pernet@laicite.net | T +32 2 627 68 24

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