EWL News

EWL General Assembly adopts Emergency Motions addressing the London Olympics, the ’Arab Spring’ and the CSW

[Brussels, 27 June 2011] On 18-19 June 2011, the EWL held its annual General Assembly (GA) in Brussels. Three Emergency Motions were adopted which call on the EWL members to take action and lobby relevant decision-makers with regards to the 1) Olympic Games in London in 2012, 2) support to women in the democratic transformation in the Middle East and North Africa and 3) the Commission of the Status of Women (CSW) in 2012. A summary of the motions is provided below.

Justice for Women - Olympic Games London 2012

Sporting events mirror dominant societal gender roles and prejudices, whether it is in terms of gender-based stereotypes, discrimination and violence in which women are the targets and/or practices of excluding women from participating in some sports and gender segregation in others. The notorious lack of women in the decision-making processes of the sporting governing bodies requires urgent action from these governing bodies to ensure and reaffirm in sporting events respect for the principles of equality, parity and diversity particularly in the forthcoming Olympic Games to be held in London in 2012.

Support to women in the democratic transformation of their societies in the Middle East and North Africa

In the recent uprisings that launched the Arab Spring women have emerged as key players. It remains to be seen whether their rights will improve. The current transitional period is bringing opportunities for change and worrisome trends concerning women’s participation in the emerging states. The EWL calls on the European Commission, EU External Action Service and any other relevant EU and national authorities to support these women to promote their rights and establish, together with men, sustainable democratic change in their societies. The EWL also calls for assurance that the voice and participation of women in all stages of conflict prevention and resolution, in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 1325, are respected, especially in the condemnation of all forms of male violence against women.

Coherent strategy to counteract a backlash which undermines gender equality and women’s rights

Increasingly agreed outcomes on gender equality and women’s rights are being challenged particularly in international settings. The EWL has played an important role in co-ordinating the European caucus at the annual UN Commission on the Status of Women and is called upon to seek other partners at the 2012 CSW meeting to develop a coherent strategy to counteract a backlash movement which, in the short and long term, undermines gender equality and women’s rights.

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