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Stepping up Roma inclusion policies

06-07-2020

The European Commission has announced its intention to adopt a new EU policy framework for tackling socio-economic exclusion and discrimination against people with a Romani background by the end of the year. The European Parliament is drawing up detailed recommendations. In the meantime, a debate and Council and Commission statements are planned for the plenary session in July.

The European Commission has announced its intention to adopt a new EU policy framework for tackling socio-economic exclusion and discrimination against people with a Romani background by the end of the year. The European Parliament is drawing up detailed recommendations. In the meantime, a debate and Council and Commission statements are planned for the plenary session in July.

The rights of LGBTI people in the European Union

18-05-2020

The prohibition of discrimination and the protection of human rights are important elements of the EU legal order. Nevertheless, discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people persists throughout the EU and takes various forms, including verbal abuse and physical violence. Sexual orientation is now recognised in EU law as grounds of discrimination. However, the scope of the provisions dealing with this issue is limited and does not cover social protection, ...

The prohibition of discrimination and the protection of human rights are important elements of the EU legal order. Nevertheless, discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people persists throughout the EU and takes various forms, including verbal abuse and physical violence. Sexual orientation is now recognised in EU law as grounds of discrimination. However, the scope of the provisions dealing with this issue is limited and does not cover social protection, healthcare, education or access to goods and services, leaving LGBTI people particularly vulnerable in these areas. Moreover, EU competence does not extend to recognition of marital or family status. In this area, national regulations vary, with some Member States offering same-sex couples the right to marry, others allowing alternative forms of registration, and yet others not providing any legal status for same-sex couples. Same-sex couples may or may not have the right to adopt children and to access assisted reproduction. These divergent legal statuses have implications, for instance, for partners from two Member States with different standards who want to formalise/legalise their relationship, or for same-sex couples and their families wishing to move to another Member State. Combating discrimination has become part of EU internal and external policies, and is the subject of numerous resolutions of the European Parliament. However, action in this area remains problematic when it touches on issues pertaining to areas traditionally the preserve of Member States, such as marital status and family law. This is a further updated version of a briefing originally drafted by Piotr Bakowski. The previous edition was published in May 2019.

Beijing Platform for Action: 25-year review and future priorities

27-02-2020

Governments across the world, including the European Union (EU) Member States and the EU itself, committed to working towards gender equality and empowering all women and girls at the 1995 fourth United Nations (UN) World Conference on Women in Beijing. The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BPfA) adopted at the conference is considered the international 'Bill of Rights' for women, defining women's rights as human rights and setting goals and concrete measures across a range of issues affecting ...

Governments across the world, including the European Union (EU) Member States and the EU itself, committed to working towards gender equality and empowering all women and girls at the 1995 fourth United Nations (UN) World Conference on Women in Beijing. The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BPfA) adopted at the conference is considered the international 'Bill of Rights' for women, defining women's rights as human rights and setting goals and concrete measures across a range of issues affecting women and girls. In-depth national, regional and global reviews of its implementation and a set of priorities for future action will mark this 25th anniversary. The review concerning the EU and its Member States shows that efforts to improve gender equality have had some results, but persistent inequalities and gender gaps remain across all the areas of action covered in the BPfA. The collection and use of gender equality data has improved, but it is still uneven, making it difficult to measure the impacts of action and to identify the most disadvantaged groups of women. Gender mainstreaming is not yet applied systematically across all policy areas and funding programmes. Already present in 1995, political and cultural tensions around some areas of women's rights, such as bodily autonomy and control of fertility, have been exacerbated in recent years. In addition, emerging challenges such as climate change have gender dimensions that need to be taken into account. Looking forward, the EU and its Member States have the potential structures, actors and tools to advance gender equality. The European Parliament and women's organisations are urging the EU and national governments to demonstrate a high-level of political commitment in this area, defend the vision and commitments set out in the BPfA, and deliver an ambitious new agenda for the coming years. A more detailed statistical picture of the current situation in the EU and its Member States, in selected fields, is available in a separately published infographic.

Beijing Platform for Action - 25 years on

24-02-2020

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Fourth United Nations World Conference on Women in Beijing, which represented a turning point for the global agenda for gender equality and resulted in pivotal commitments and objectives, the results of which we still measure today. The Beijing Declaration and the Platform for Action, adopted unanimously by 189 countries at the Conference in 1995, is considered to be the most comprehensive global policy framework for the rights of women. It recognises women ...

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Fourth United Nations World Conference on Women in Beijing, which represented a turning point for the global agenda for gender equality and resulted in pivotal commitments and objectives, the results of which we still measure today. The Beijing Declaration and the Platform for Action, adopted unanimously by 189 countries at the Conference in 1995, is considered to be the most comprehensive global policy framework for the rights of women. It recognises women’s rights as human rights and sets out a comprehensive roadmap for achieving equality between women and men, with concrete measures and measurable outcomes across a range of issues affecting women and girls. These outcomes are divided into 12 inter-related areas where a need for urgent action was identified: poverty, education and training, health care, violence against women and girls, armed conflict, economic empowerment, power and decision-making, mechanisms to promote advancement of women, women’s human rights, the media, the environment and the rights of the girl child.

Zero tolerance for female genital mutilation

05-02-2020

The European Union is committed to working collectively to eradicate female genital mutilation (FGM) as part of broader efforts to combat all forms of violence against women and girls, and to support the efforts of its Member States in this field. The European Commission has undertaken to assess EU efforts to combat FGM every year, on or around the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation on 6 February. This publication is a further update of an 'at a glance' note originally ...

The European Union is committed to working collectively to eradicate female genital mutilation (FGM) as part of broader efforts to combat all forms of violence against women and girls, and to support the efforts of its Member States in this field. The European Commission has undertaken to assess EU efforts to combat FGM every year, on or around the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation on 6 February. This publication is a further update of an 'at a glance' note originally published in January 2015.

Towards a new EU gender equality strategy

05-02-2020

Full gender equality is far from being achieved, and this has implications for the lives and life chances of individual women, girls, boys and men, the communities they live in and the EU as a whole. The European Commission has included a proposal for a new EU Strategy on Gender Equality in its work programme for 2020. It is due to give a statement on the proposal during Parliament's plenary session in February.

Full gender equality is far from being achieved, and this has implications for the lives and life chances of individual women, girls, boys and men, the communities they live in and the EU as a whole. The European Commission has included a proposal for a new EU Strategy on Gender Equality in its work programme for 2020. It is due to give a statement on the proposal during Parliament's plenary session in February.

The Istanbul Convention: A tool to tackle violence against women and girls

02-12-2019

The Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention) is the first instrument in Europe to set legally binding standards specifically to prevent gender-based violence, protect victims of violence and punish perpetrators. Following the EU's signing of the Convention in June 2017, the European Parliament's consent is required for the EU's accession to the Convention. Pending Council's formal request for that consent, Parliament ...

The Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention) is the first instrument in Europe to set legally binding standards specifically to prevent gender-based violence, protect victims of violence and punish perpetrators. Following the EU's signing of the Convention in June 2017, the European Parliament's consent is required for the EU's accession to the Convention. Pending Council's formal request for that consent, Parliament adopted an interim resolution in September 2017, and subsequently reviewed progress towards EU accession, in April and November 2019.

Violence against women in the EU: State of play

22-11-2019

Violence against women is a violation of human rights and a form of gender-based discrimination. Rooted in inequalities between men and women, it takes many forms. Estimates about the scale of the problem are alarming. Such violence has a major impact on victims and imposes a significant cost burden on society. The instruments put in place by the United Nations and Council of Europe, including the latter's 'Istanbul Convention', to which the EU plans to accede, are benchmarks in efforts to combat ...

Violence against women is a violation of human rights and a form of gender-based discrimination. Rooted in inequalities between men and women, it takes many forms. Estimates about the scale of the problem are alarming. Such violence has a major impact on victims and imposes a significant cost burden on society. The instruments put in place by the United Nations and Council of Europe, including the latter's 'Istanbul Convention', to which the EU plans to accede, are benchmarks in efforts to combat violence against women. The EU is tackling the problem in various ways, but has no binding instrument designed specifically to protect women from violence. Although there are similarities between national policies to combat violence against women, the Member States have adopted different approaches to the problem. Parliament's efforts have focused on strengthening EU policy in the area. Parliament has repeatedly called for a European Union strategy to counter violence against women, including a legally binding instrument. Stakeholders have expressed a range of concerns, such as the impact of the economic crisis and the backlash against gender equality on funding for prevention and support for victims, and have highlighted the need for a comprehensive EU political framework on eliminating violence against women. They have also launched new initiatives of their own. This is a further update of an earlier briefing by Anna Dimitrova-Stull, of February 2014. The most recent previous edition was from September 2019.

Hearings of the Commissioners-designate: Helena Dalli - Equality

26-09-2019

This briefing is one in a set looking at the Commissioners-designate and their portfolios as put forward by Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen. Each candidate faces a three-hour public hearing, organised by one or more parliamentary committees. After that process, those committees will judge the candidates' suitability for the role based on 'their general competence, European commitment and personal independence', as well as their 'knowledge of their prospective portfolio and their communication ...

This briefing is one in a set looking at the Commissioners-designate and their portfolios as put forward by Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen. Each candidate faces a three-hour public hearing, organised by one or more parliamentary committees. After that process, those committees will judge the candidates' suitability for the role based on 'their general competence, European commitment and personal independence', as well as their 'knowledge of their prospective portfolio and their communication skills'. At the end of the hearings process, Parliament votes on the proposed Commission as a bloc, and under the Treaties may only reject the entire College of Commissioners, rather than individual candidates. The Briefing provides an overview of key issues in the portfolio areas, as well as Parliament's activity in the last term in that field. It also includes a brief introduction to the candidate.

Violence against women in the EU: State of play

02-09-2019

Violence against women is a violation of human rights and a form of gender-based discrimination. Rooted in inequalities between men and women, it takes many forms. Estimates about the scale of the problem are alarming. Such violence has a major impact on victims and imposes a significant cost burden on society. The instruments put in place by the United Nations and Council of Europe, including the latter’s 'Istanbul Convention', to which the EU plans to accede, are benchmarks in efforts to combat ...

Violence against women is a violation of human rights and a form of gender-based discrimination. Rooted in inequalities between men and women, it takes many forms. Estimates about the scale of the problem are alarming. Such violence has a major impact on victims and imposes a significant cost burden on society. The instruments put in place by the United Nations and Council of Europe, including the latter’s 'Istanbul Convention', to which the EU plans to accede, are benchmarks in efforts to combat violence against women. The EU is tackling the problem in various ways, but has no binding instrument designed specifically to protect women from violence. Although there are similarities between national policies to combat violence against women, the Member States have adopted different approaches to the problem. Parliament's efforts have focused on strengthening EU policy in the area. Parliament has repeatedly called for a European Union strategy to counter violence against women, including a legally binding instrument. Stakeholders have expressed a range of concerns, such as the impact of the current economic climate on the prevalence of violence and funding for prevention and support for victims, and have highlighted the need for a comprehensive EU political framework on eliminating violence against women. They have also launched new initiatives of their own. This is a further update of an earlier briefing by Anna Dimitrova-Stull, of February 2014. The most recent previous edition was from November 2017.

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