[2nd of April ] EWL was invited to attend the last session of the Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Committee of this mandate of the European Parliament.
As part of this last session, four experts provided their insight into women’s role in peace processes and on how women’s participation in conflict prevention and resolution can improve outcomes before, during and after conflicts. All of them emphasised how important it is that women play an active role in peace processes: “women have to be part of the peace agreements, not agreed in” said Carmen Magallón from WILPF Spain.
A exchange of views on intersectional forms of discrimination took place during which Isabela Mihalache, Advocacy Officer at the European Network Against Racism, explained how there is no framework for intersectional discrimination and nor there is disaggregated data.
A study on "Gender Mainstreaming in Committees and Delegations of the European Parliament" was also presented. What we learn from this study is that, significantly, FEMM’s amendments and opinions were taken into consideration much more often by the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL) and the Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET), while the Committee on Budgets (BUDG) was the committee that took FEMM’s opinions and amendments the least into consideration. This highlights the resistance to introduce a gender perspective into hard policy areas such as budgeting.
We were also able to listen to an exchange of views on the European Parliament’s draft Gender Action Plan. MEPs present stressed the importance of mandatory gender training to everyone that works in the European parliament, especially harassment and sexual harassment training, and the need to improve the procedures of the committee dealing with harassment complaints. EWL will follow closely the developments of the EP Gender Action Plan.
EWL has engaged in many activities with the FEMM Committee during this term (2014 – 2019). For example, last February our President Gwendoline Lefebvre presented our 50/50 Campaign for the 2019 European Parliament elections to members of the FEMM Committee. Joanna Maycock, Secretary General, recently presented EWL demands on policy and funding frameworks for violence against women and our members also contributed to the drafting of FEMM’s report on "Backlash in Gender Equality and Women’s and Girls’ Rights", which strongly influenced the European Parliament recent resolution on the Backlash.
EWL looks forward to continuing our collaboration with the FEMM Committee to further women’s rights and gender equality in the EU and beyond in the new term.