EWL News

Reding to unveil plans to push gender equality

By Jennifer Rankin 16.09.2010 / 05:19 CET

Commission wants more women back into work and close the pay gap.

Viviane Reding, the European commissioner for justice, fundamental rights and citizenship, will on Tuesday (21 September) outline the European Commission’s ideas for getting more women into work and closing the pay gap, as she unveils a five-year strategy to promote gender equality.

The 2010-15 plan will cover six areas: more and better-quality work for women; equal pay; women in senior “decision-making” roles; violence against women; aligning EU foreign policy with gender equality goals; and so-called “horizontal issues” such as increasing representation of women in the Commission.

No legislation is envisaged at this stage, a Commission official said, but Reding does not rule out proposing laws in some areas if softer measures are ineffective.

Women’s rights campaigners want the Commission to make more use of sanctions and court proceedings against governments that are slow to act. Myria Vassiliadou, the secretary-general of the European Women’s Lobby, said that without enforcement: “the Commission can monitor all that it likes, but the member states can take it or leave it”.

Monitoring of data

Virginija Langbakk, director of the European Institute for Gender Equality, said her agency’s job was to acquire better quality data across member states: “If we can consolidate and get everything in one place, the monitoring would be more professional and then you can see the impact.”

Gender equality campaigners hope that Reding will bring her pugnacious approach to defending the Roma to gender issues. “She appears to be committed,” said Vassiliadou, “but of course it is early days. We need to see results.”

Latest video

EWL event "Progress towards a Europe free from all forms of male violence" to mark the 10th aniversary of the Istanbul Convention, 12 May 2021.

Facebook Feed

Get Involved