[Brussels, 2 February 2015] Did you know that only 27% of national parliamentarians in the EU are women? That only one in five board members in Europe’s largest publicly listed companies is a woman? That only 20% of top level academics are women and only one out of ten universities in the European Union has a female rector?
In February, the European Women’s Lobby (EWL) focuses on Women in Power and Decision-Making, as part of its Beijing+20 campaign. Read and share EWL’s factsheet about Women in Power and Decision-Making, which is part of the EWL report “From Words to Action” and comprises our key demands to the European Union and its Member States.
In each month of 2015, we will focus on one of the 12 critical areas of the Beijing Platform for Action. Join us by following us on social media, disseminating our factsheets and report, coming to our events and the activities of our members if you can! All our members will be mobilising throughout Europe to make 2015 a critical year towards making all commitments of the Beijing Platform for Action a reality. It is a scandal that women and girls still do not enjoy their full human rights.
Women in Power and Decision-Making: the reality, our demands
The empowerment and autonomy of women and the improvement of women’s social, economic and political status is essential for the achievement of both transparent and accountable government and administration and sustainable development in all areas of life. Empowering women to take leadership positions is crucial for sustainable economies and democratic and just societies. Studies from different countries demonstrate that companies with a higher share of women at top levels perform better financially. Diversity among employees and board members produces creativity and innovation through complementary knowledge and skills.
Today’s picture, however, shows that women are still under-represented in political and corporate decision-making at local, national and EU level, due to persisting stereotypes, patriarchal attitudes and perceptions of women’s competences and roles. Achieving parity is crucial for democracy, rights and justice.
Women in Power and Decision-Making: EWL in action!
- The EWL reactivated its 50/50 campaign in advance of the 2014 European elections in order to promote the active participation of women as voters and candidates in the European Parliament and the equal representation of women and men in all European institutions. Several tools (publications, videos, lobbying kit) were instrumental to raise awareness at the European and national levels. A unique cross-party alliance of all democratic parties in the European Parliament supported the campaign.
- EWL European Political Mentoring Network(2013-2014): a unique programme promoting and supporting women from ethnic minority or migrant backgrounds to run for the European Parliamentary elections.
- The EWL Manifesto “Act now for her future, commit to gender equality!” comprises the main demands of the EWL towards the candidates to the European Parliament 2014 elections and was supported by four of the top candidates to the European Parliament Presidency.
- EWL Project “Young women leaders are voices for girls and women”: in the second half of 2014, the EWL developed training modules on leadership and women’s rights for the young women newly elected to the European Parliament in Brussels.
- • EWL publication“Women on Boards in Europe – From a Snail’s Pace to a Giant Leap?” (2012): a comprehensive overview of the measures adopted in the recent years at national level to increase the representation of women in the boardroom.