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A new directive on work-life balance

02-04-2019

Despite significant progress for some social groups in the area of work-life balance, there has been a general trend of decline since 2011, and progress amongst Member States has been uneven. This proposed directive (complemented with non-legislative measures) should lead to the repeal of the existing Framework Agreement on Parental Leave, made binding by Council Directive 2010/18/EU (the Parental Leave Directive). The new directive contains proposals for paternity, parental and carers’ leave. Stakeholders ...

Despite significant progress for some social groups in the area of work-life balance, there has been a general trend of decline since 2011, and progress amongst Member States has been uneven. This proposed directive (complemented with non-legislative measures) should lead to the repeal of the existing Framework Agreement on Parental Leave, made binding by Council Directive 2010/18/EU (the Parental Leave Directive). The new directive contains proposals for paternity, parental and carers’ leave. Stakeholders have been divided over the level of ambition of the proposed measures. Trilogue negotiations started in September 2018, and a provisional agreement among the three institutions was reached after the sixth trilogue meeting, in January 2019. The provisional agreement is less ambitious than the original Commission proposal and the Parliament’s position, which had, in some ways, gone further than the Commission. The text was approved by the Parliament’s Employment and Social Affairs Committee in February 2019, and now needs to be adopted in plenary. Third edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. Please note this document has been designed for on-line viewing.

Women in local and regional government

07-03-2019

Local and regional institutions are vital for women's empowerment, being both the level of governance responsible for service delivery and a potential stepping-stone to a public office career at national and European level. Nevertheless, data show that it is not always easy for women to participate in local or regional government structures. The European Union has been a staunch advocate of women's participation in decision-making at all levels of governance.

Local and regional institutions are vital for women's empowerment, being both the level of governance responsible for service delivery and a potential stepping-stone to a public office career at national and European level. Nevertheless, data show that it is not always easy for women to participate in local or regional government structures. The European Union has been a staunch advocate of women's participation in decision-making at all levels of governance.

Gender equality in sport: Getting closer every day

07-03-2019

Traditionally, sport has been dominated by men, both in terms of participation and governance. Women were excluded from the first modern Olympic Games, held in Athens in 1896, and were only allowed to gradually start joining in four years later. Even though women's presence and involvement in the Olympic Movement have progressively evolved, girls and women across the world still get fewer opportunities and less investment, training and corporate attention when they play sport. Today, women's participation ...

Traditionally, sport has been dominated by men, both in terms of participation and governance. Women were excluded from the first modern Olympic Games, held in Athens in 1896, and were only allowed to gradually start joining in four years later. Even though women's presence and involvement in the Olympic Movement have progressively evolved, girls and women across the world still get fewer opportunities and less investment, training and corporate attention when they play sport. Today, women's participation in sports governance structures has slightly improved. The International Olympic Committee currently counts 33 female members and honorary members out of a total of 144. Moreover, fewer than 20 % of the members of the governing structures of affiliated bodies are women. Similarly, in 2015 only 14 % of all top decision-making positions in individual EU sports federations were occupied by women. In spite of the fact that the number of women actively involved in sport has increased dramatically over the past 50 years, female coaches across the globe are a statistical minority in nearly all sports, at all performance levels. In Europe, between 20 % and 30 % of all sports coaches are women. Even though the gender pay gap in sport has been narrowing over the years, it still very much exists. A total of 83 % of sports now award men and women equal prize money, with cricket, golf and football displaying the greatest pay gaps. There are also still significant differences in the media coverage of women's and men's sports. Research shows that sports journalism in the print media is a man's world, with over 90 % of the articles being written by male journalists and more than 85 % of the coverage being dedicated to male athletes. In 2010, in a bid to establish greater equality in the most popular sport for girls and women – football – the European football governing body UEFA launched its women's football development programme and funded an extensive series of projects across Europe to drive growth and sustainability in women's football. The European Parliament has also been consistently advocating for gender equality in sport. As part of the institution's campaign for the 2019 European elections, high-profile players such as Nilla Fischer will be encouraging women to vote on issues that matter to them.

Women in politics in the EU: State of play

01-03-2019

Exactly one hundred years after women won the vote or were first elected to parliament in some EU countries, the data show that women continue to be under-represented in politics and public life, in the European Parliament, national parliaments and governments, and local assemblies. The arguments for gender balance in politics are numerous, and benefit not only women and female politicians, but also parties themselves and the rest of society. After all, women form half the population and need to ...

Exactly one hundred years after women won the vote or were first elected to parliament in some EU countries, the data show that women continue to be under-represented in politics and public life, in the European Parliament, national parliaments and governments, and local assemblies. The arguments for gender balance in politics are numerous, and benefit not only women and female politicians, but also parties themselves and the rest of society. After all, women form half the population and need to be better represented in power structures. However, there is now solid evidence both of obstacles and of the strategies that are effective when it comes to increasing women's participation and representation. Here, political parties and the media can be both barriers and important enablers. The EU has committed to achieving a gender balance in political representation and participation as a matter of justice, equality and democracy. Concrete recommendations have been made for achieving this goal, including specific action that could be taken by the EU institutions, national governments, political parties, civil society and the media. In the run-up to the European elections in May 2019, new mandates in the Commission and European Council, and the end of the EU's current strategy for gender equality, there is a particular focus on how a better gender balance (at least 40 %) or gender parity (50 %), could be achieved in the next Parliament and for other high-level posts in the EU institutions, and how the EU and its Member States can move towards true parity democracy.

Women in politics: A global perspective

28-02-2019

Fair representation of women in political life has a positive impact on gender mainstreaming in various policies. The United Nations has set a dedicated target within the sustainable development goals dealing specifically with women's access to leadership. The available data on the presence of women in parliaments and in governments show a positive trend, but much still remains to be done to ensure an equal presence of both genders in decision-making. The European Union supports gender equality in ...

Fair representation of women in political life has a positive impact on gender mainstreaming in various policies. The United Nations has set a dedicated target within the sustainable development goals dealing specifically with women's access to leadership. The available data on the presence of women in parliaments and in governments show a positive trend, but much still remains to be done to ensure an equal presence of both genders in decision-making. The European Union supports gender equality in politics, and the European Parliament has reaffirmed the importance of such a policy on various occasions.

Gender equality and trade

31-01-2019

Trade liberalisation has a gender-differentiated impact inside and outside Europe. The EU, which is committed to promoting gender equality in all policies, has established specific mechanisms in its trade policy to enforce women's labour and human rights, and monitor the gender impact of its trade preferences. The European Parliament supports this policy and asked for it to be reinforced. This is an update of an ‘at a glance’ note from March 2018.

Trade liberalisation has a gender-differentiated impact inside and outside Europe. The EU, which is committed to promoting gender equality in all policies, has established specific mechanisms in its trade policy to enforce women's labour and human rights, and monitor the gender impact of its trade preferences. The European Parliament supports this policy and asked for it to be reinforced. This is an update of an ‘at a glance’ note from March 2018.

Gender mainstreaming in the EU: State of play

10-01-2019

When the European Union endorsed 'gender mainstreaming' as its official policy approach to gender equality, it was seen as a potentially revolutionary means of accelerating progress and achieving real equality between the sexes. Two decades on, concerns remain about fragmented implementation across policy areas and institutions at EU and national levels. The European Parliament regularly assesses its own progress in this area, and a FEMM committee report on gender mainstreaming in Parliament is scheduled ...

When the European Union endorsed 'gender mainstreaming' as its official policy approach to gender equality, it was seen as a potentially revolutionary means of accelerating progress and achieving real equality between the sexes. Two decades on, concerns remain about fragmented implementation across policy areas and institutions at EU and national levels. The European Parliament regularly assesses its own progress in this area, and a FEMM committee report on gender mainstreaming in Parliament is scheduled for debate in plenary during January.

Mission to Austria 11/12 October 2018

08-10-2018

This document was prepared to provide background information for Members of the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM) participating in the Conference "Gender Equality and YOU"organised by the Austrian presidency (Vienna, 11-12 October 2018). It is intended to provide information on various aspects of gender equality, based on studies and analyses which have been commissioned by the Policy Department and delivered to FEMM in the course of the current legislature. Of two recent studies ...

This document was prepared to provide background information for Members of the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM) participating in the Conference "Gender Equality and YOU"organised by the Austrian presidency (Vienna, 11-12 October 2018). It is intended to provide information on various aspects of gender equality, based on studies and analyses which have been commissioned by the Policy Department and delivered to FEMM in the course of the current legislature. Of two recent studies a short summary, as well as a link to the full text of the study is given. A number of other Policy Department studies on specific aspects of gender equality in the EU are listed for further reading.

The rights of LGBTI people in the European Union

12-06-2018

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) persons persists throughout the EU, taking various forms including verbal abuse and physical violence. Sexual orientation is now recognised in EU law as grounds of discrimination. However, the scope of these provisions is limited and does not cover social protection, healthcare, education and ...

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) persons persists throughout the EU, taking various forms including verbal abuse and physical violence. Sexual orientation is now recognised in EU law as grounds of discrimination. However, the scope of these provisions is limited and does not cover social protection, healthcare, education and 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 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 reserved to 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 2017.

Transforming the lives of girls and women through EU external relations, 2016-2020

23-05-2018

A motion for a resolution on the implementation of the Gender Action Plan is scheduled to be voted during the May II plenary session. It is founded on four thematic pillars, namely: ensuring girls' and women's physical and psychological integrity; promoting the economic and social rights as well as empowerment of girls and women; strengthening girls' and women's voice and participation; and shifting the institutional culture within the Commission and the EEAS. The motion for a resolution highlights ...

A motion for a resolution on the implementation of the Gender Action Plan is scheduled to be voted during the May II plenary session. It is founded on four thematic pillars, namely: ensuring girls' and women's physical and psychological integrity; promoting the economic and social rights as well as empowerment of girls and women; strengthening girls' and women's voice and participation; and shifting the institutional culture within the Commission and the EEAS. The motion for a resolution highlights a number of positive trends that have been noted after the first year of functioning of the Gender Action Plan II 2016-2020 as well as a series of issues and areas for improvement.

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