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PES Women President’s blog

Viviane Reding, give us a proper Charter!

It was a point in the Gender Equality Chapter of our Manifesto for the 2009 European Elections, and since then PES Women never stopped fighting for it. Calling for it at our Annual Conference in December in Prague, establishing a working group, reiterating our demands to Ms Reding on the eve of unveiling her plan or intervening for a more ambitious one by meeting President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, in Strasbourg in March.

We stay convinced that such a Charter cannot be the weak paper accorded unilaterally by Commissioner Viviane Reding on 8 March at the European Parliament. Such a Charter should instead have a visionary approach, involve all stakeholders in a consultation and edition process, and especially representatives of Europe’s people, the Member of the European Parliament. Such a Charter should have bigger ambitions and goals than reiterating the past adopted legislation in matter of gender equality. We want more; we want improvement on women’s position on the labour market and economic independence, representation in top-positions, health issues, reconciliation of work and life, and go much further in areas like sciences, IT, development, migration and environment.

PES Women on its side continues reflecting on the Charter, its possible content and shape. Its Executive adopted two weeks ago in meeting the following resolution:

  • Have an (online) consultation in the framework of the PES initiative “Progressive Societies”
  • Continue the work done by the PES Women Working Group on our vision of a European Women’s Rights Charter in cooperation with our partners linked to the above-mentioned PES initiative
  • Request an own-initiative report in the European Parliament’s Women’s Rights Committee calling on the European Commission to re-open the issue of the Charter and do an in depth study
  • Organise for one of the upcoming International Women’s Day a call for action on the European Women’s Rights Charter, linked to ongoing work.
  • Discuss this with all PES Leaders
  • Include reference of the European Women’s Rights Charter in the Europe 2020 Strategy and the upcoming European Strategy on Gender Equality.

This is our proposal, this is our mission, and we will continue speaking about it and acting for it.

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