EWL News

5 Emergency Motions Adopted by the 2013 GA: on Abortion, Surrogacy, Freedom of Civil Society and the Impact of Crisis

ewl ga 2013 364
(Zagreb, 1 June 2013)
Saturday, on the first day of the General Assembly (GA), the EWL adopted five emergency motions dealing with current urgent issues such as the threat to the free activism in civil society and regarding women’s organizations, legislation for abortion , the surrogate motherhood and women in precarious financial and economic situations. All Emergency Motions were adopted by the EWL general assembly.

An emergency motion is a motion that any member can submit within a given delay with the support of at least five other members of the EWL. All Emergency Motions are then adopted or rejected by a free vote by delegates attending the GA. They aim to raise an urgent issue concerning a current problem and establish the EWL political position on the matter. Voted by the whole GA, an emergency motion has strong political impact.

An urgent call to ensure an safe environment for the operation of civil society and women’s organizations in Turkey and elsewhere

The first motion was submitted by Turkish National Coordination for European Women’s Lobby calling on EU governments and the Turkish government to respect, protect and ensure the freedom of civil society associations with transparent and non-discriminatory laws and regulations.

The call was raised due to the alarming situation regarding civil society activists in Turkey. Canan Arin, a prominent lawyer and an activist is currently facing legal proceedings as a result of protesting against early marriages in Turkey. In the same vein, independent women’s organizations such as VAKAD, ??tar, Umut?????, Kibele are under the threat of being closed down and some members are being detained without any concrete justifications. The motion was voted and passed with unanimity. On Sunday, EWL expressed its fully support for the whole Turkish society in their fight for stable democracy and equal rights.

Supporting EWL members: Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Czech Women´s Lobby, Hungarian Women’s Lobby, The International Alliance of Women, Lithuanian Women’s Lobby, Spanish EWL coordination CELEM, Belgian Coordination NVR/CCFB, BPW Europe, Luxemburgish Coordination for EWL, The National Women’s Council of Ireland, Swedish Women’s Lobby, The Federation of Romani and Traveller Women, The French Coordination for the European Women’s Lobby.

To read the whole text of the Emergency Motion click here

all emergency motions ewl ga 2013

ewl ga 2013 365

An urgent call for solidarity and support in ensuring that Ireland provides for abortion legislation that is accessible and practical for women and that it proceeds with the full decriminalisation of abortion

The second motion was submitted by the National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI). It called upon the Irish government to make the necessary changes to the draft legislation so as to fully decriminalise abortion and to ensure the accessibility and practicability of the legislation for all women.

The call was raised due to an upcoming opportunity to reform Irish restrictive legislation on abortion. According to the Constitution of the Republic of Ireland, women have a right to abortion in only in life threatening pregnancies, including the risk of suicide. However, there has been inaction in legislating for this right for over 21 years. The current government has been forced to comply with the judgement of the European Court of Human Rights in the A, B and C v Ireland cases and coupled with the international and national pressure that the Savita Halapanavar case brought it introduced draft legislation in April. The draft aims to give effect to the existing constitutional right but provides for the continued criminalisation of abortion with a maximum penalty of 14 years for the woman or performing doctor in question. The procedures for obtaining and abortion in life threatening pregnancies are onerous, inaccessible and are to be totally unworkable for women in Ireland. EWL strongly calls on the Irish government to make the necessary changes to the draft legislation to provide for the full decriminalisation of abortion and to ensure that this legislation is accessible and practicable for all women in Ireland.

Supporting EWL members: European Network of Migrant Women, International Alliance of Women (Greece), CELEM, BPW Europe, UKJCW, Cyprus Women’s Lobby, Hungarian Women’s Lobby, EWL Turkey Coordination, Estonian Women’s Association Roundtable.

The whole text of the Emergency Motion download here:

all emergency motions ewl ga 2013

ewl ga 2013 366

An urgent call for solidarity and support to prevent the current Spanish abortion legislation from regression

The third emergency motion, submitted by the Spanish Coordination for the European Women’s Lobby (CELEM) called upon the national government not to abrogate the current Organic Law 2/2010 on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Voluntary Interruption of Pregnancy which ensures women’s fundamental human right to decide over their body and motherhood.

The call was raised due to the Spanish government’s regressive proposition to revoke current abortion law. The new draft legislation deprives women from the fundamental human right to decide over their body and transfers the decision-making to third persons such as police or heath professionals. What is more, it eliminates the possibility to end a pregnancy in case of foetal malformation and “the alleged risk” to the mother’s health clause will make the abortion even more difficult to exercise criminalizing women’s decision. EWL strongly urges the Spanish government to preserve the current Organic Law 2/2010 on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Voluntary Interruption of Pregnancy and abstain from any legislative change that could stand in contradiction to the women’s rights.

Supporting EWL members: EWL Coordination for Turkey, Czech Women’s Lobby, Cyprus Women’s Lobby, Women’s Network Croatia, National Women’s Council of Ireland, Women’s Council Denmark, Coordination of Greek Women NGOS for the EWL.

The whole text of the Emergency Motion download here:

all emergency motions ewl ga 2013

An urgent call for support on ban on surrogacy motherhood as a form of global trade with women’s bodies

The fourth emergency motion submitted by the Swedish Women’s Lobby called for recognition of the surrogate motherhood is a trade invovling women’s bodies and children, as well as a threat to women’s basic human rights and bodily integrity.

Most European countries do not have regulations or legislation on surrogate motherhood. Currently, across Europe, proposals to promote and legalize the practice are being put forward. The debate often promotes the interest of the buyers, whilst women’s rights are negotiated, even though it is not a human right to have children. Instead, the rights of women and children must be at focus for the issue. The right to bodily integrity should not be open for negotiation by any form of contract. No matter the regulation or the nature of the contract, it still remains a trade with women’s bodies and with children. EWL stands against a legalization of surrogacy motherhood in the European countries.

Supporting EWL members: Polish Women’s Lobby, EWL Coordination for Turkey, Women’s Lobby Slovenia, The French Coordination for the EWL, Netherlands Council of Women, Hungarian Women’s Lobby.

The whole text of the Emergency Motion download here:

all emergency motions ewl ga 2013

Urgent call for the support for equality rights of women in precarious situation

The last emergency motion was submitted by the French coordination for the EWL (CLEF) and called on the candidates in the 2014 European elections for transcription into law the demand for equal representation of women in decision-making, financial empowerment, economic independence and the fighting against stereotypes.

The call was raised due to the increasing threat to the hard-won rights of women caused by the austerity policies adopted by the European Union. The economic crisis plunged Europe into a recession in which women are the first victims. They are more affected by insecurity through involuntary part-time or non-skilled jobs. Facing the glass ceiling, women hardly reach positions of responsibility and the average difference in wages between women and men and 16.2% in the European Union. These multiple discrimination impacts even more retired women. One in four women in the European Union, over the age of 75 lives below the poverty line. Taking into consideration the alarming situation of women in the EU, EWL calls the future EU candidates for 2014 to renew the gender equality policies.

Supporting EWL members: Women’s Lobby Slovenia, Coordination of Greek Women’s NGOs for the EWL, CELEM (Spanish Coordination), Women’s Network Croatia, EWL Coordination for Turkey.

The whole text of the Emergency Motion download here:

all emergency motions ewl ga 2013

ewl ga 2013 367

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