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PES Women President’s blog

Women, ready for 2014 European Elections?

After a stimulating exchange with the Secretary Generals of the PES Members Parties in Warsaw and in the presence of the PES Common Candidates Designate, Martin Schulz, on the upcoming 2014 European Elections, I joined my Spanish friends in Madrid for the PSOE political Conference. 

It is always inspiring to be amongst my friends in PSOE such as Elfredo Rubalcaba, PSOE Secretary General, Elena Valenciano, PES Vice-President, Susana Díaz, President of PSOE Andalucía, and the PES PSOE activists, as their engagement towards Europe and the European project that the PES defends perpetually figures at the heart of their work. Jose Luis Zapatero, former Prime Minister of Spain present in my panel, had made this his government’s trade mark.

While in 2009, almost 60% of the women didn’t vote at the European elections, I am convinced that in 2014 Women can and should make a difference; pushing for a Progressive majority at European level

Moreover, as discussed in Warsaw, we need to support women’s candidates and encourage them to take part in leadership; political leadership and economic leadership and combined with our priorities we can make the European Union enter a new era and ensure true gender equality. 

How can we achieve true gender equality? In preparing the 2014 European Parliamentary elections, PSOE is - once again - making gender equality an inclusive priority of their campaign. Not only is this exemplar but also inspiring for me, because our Progressive family understands that we need to take women voters into consideration and include a strong gender perspective in our work.

We, PES, have always been – and should remain – the party for women, because today it is with regret that I witness a conservative Europe that turns back the clock of achievements on women’s rights. With many challenges for gender equality and women’s rights such as the gender pay gap at 16,2%, the under-representation of women in economic and political decision-making, the fact that every day 7 women day due to gender-based violence, the negation by the European Parliament’s Right wing to endorse Sexual and Reproductive Rights to all women across Europe, are clear examples that we don’t need less but more progress in Europe.

Together with the PES Activists, who warmly welcomed me, and the PES Common Candidate to the EU Presidency of the Commission, the PES is going to champion on women’s rights and gender equality under the motto ‘Equal Pay, it’s about time!’ and tackle the issues that affect them, especially in times of crisis such their economic independence, work-life balance, childcare and elderly care services, violence against women, sexual and reproductive health and rights, etc.

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