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EU policies – Delivering for citizens: Promoting equality between women and men

28-06-2019

The European Union (EU) is committed to eliminating inequalities and promoting gender equality 'in all its activities' and has made considerable advances over the years. Nevertheless, the situation remains uneven across the EU, and in recent times progress has slowed, stalled or even regressed in some areas. Yet, the evidence points clearly to the benefits of gender equality for individuals, the economy and society as a whole. Public opinion surveys show that a large majority of Europeans agree that ...

The European Union (EU) is committed to eliminating inequalities and promoting gender equality 'in all its activities' and has made considerable advances over the years. Nevertheless, the situation remains uneven across the EU, and in recent times progress has slowed, stalled or even regressed in some areas. Yet, the evidence points clearly to the benefits of gender equality for individuals, the economy and society as a whole. Public opinion surveys show that a large majority of Europeans agree that promoting gender equality is important for a fair and democratic society, the economy and for them personally and that a growing share of citizens would like the EU to do more in this area. Europeans also expect increased EU action on related policies. During the last legislative term, as part of a broader gender equality programme, the EU institutions have been working on proposals for new EU laws to improve work-life balance and combat violence against women. Promoting equality between women and men will remain one of the major challenges in the coming years. Demographic trends, technological developments and changes to the way we work are just some of the issues where different impacts on women and men will need to be considered. Options for further EU involvement could include better implementation and enforcement of existing legislation, moves to modernise it, fill gaps in protection and address emerging issues, and non-legislative measures such as data collection and monitoring, awareness-raising, and support for national and grassroots initiatives. It will require the political will at all levels to tackle issues across a broad spectrum of policies, together with the provision of the necessary institutions, tools and resources to put that resolve into action. This is an update of an earlier briefing issued in advance of the 2019 European elections.

The professional status of rural women in the EU

27-05-2019

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the FEMM Committee, gives an overview of the professional status of rural women in the EU, as well as their employment situation and position in the labour market in rural areas in most relevant Member States. The study provides identification of the best practices implemented in the Member States and concludes with policy recommendations on the improvement of ...

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the FEMM Committee, gives an overview of the professional status of rural women in the EU, as well as their employment situation and position in the labour market in rural areas in most relevant Member States. The study provides identification of the best practices implemented in the Member States and concludes with policy recommendations on the improvement of the employment situation and legal status of women living in rural areas of the EU.

Ulkopuolinen laatija

Ramona FRANIĆ, Tihana KOVAČIĆEK

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.

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.

The place of women in European film productions: Fighting the celluloid ceiling

17-01-2019

The sexual assault allegations brought against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein laid bare the painful reality for scores of women working in the film industry around the world. However, sexual harassment is seemingly just the tip of the iceberg in an industry where gender inequalities relating to biased representation and pay are arguably systematic and pervasive. Europe's own film industry has not been spared. The weighted average of films directed by women in the 2012-2016 period is just 19.6 ...

The sexual assault allegations brought against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein laid bare the painful reality for scores of women working in the film industry around the world. However, sexual harassment is seemingly just the tip of the iceberg in an industry where gender inequalities relating to biased representation and pay are arguably systematic and pervasive. Europe's own film industry has not been spared. The weighted average of films directed by women in the 2012-2016 period is just 19.6 %, with country results varying from 5 % (Latvia) to 30 % (Sweden). More worryingly, research shows that the various positions in the film industry appear to be dominated by one or the other gender. Thus, women are over-represented in professions traditionally considered feminine – such as costume design and editing – and under-represented in others viewed as more technical, such as those dealing with sound, music and image. To start redressing these imbalances, various EU-level initiatives have been introduced in support of female film projects. One such example is the LUX Film Prize, through which over the past 11 years the European Parliament has been consistently encouraging the dissemination of films directed by women and portraying strong, inspiring female characters. For its part, the European Commission has started measuring women's participation in key positions in projects supported under the Media strand of its Creative Europe programme. Similarly, it is currently considering specific ways for a more gender-balanced provision of support. Yet again, the cultural support fund of the Council of Europe – Eurimages – committed in its 2018-2020 strategy to achieving equal distribution of co production funding between women and men by the year 2020; the distribution of funding currently stands at 38 %. Sweden is the EU leader in terms of regulatory policies at national level. The critical acclaim won by Swedish female filmmakers in the past 10 years has shown that by applying a methodical and systematic approach it is possible to achieve gender equality without compromising quality.

Gender equality in the media and digital sectors

11-04-2018

Having highlighted women's participation and representation in the media and digital sectors on International Women's Day on 8 March 2018, Parliament is analysing the current situation and proposing ways to empower women and girls in an own-initiative report scheduled for debate during the April plenary session.

Having highlighted women's participation and representation in the media and digital sectors on International Women's Day on 8 March 2018, Parliament is analysing the current situation and proposing ways to empower women and girls in an own-initiative report scheduled for debate during the April plenary session.

Naisten ja miesten tasa-arvo

01-04-2018

Sukupuolten tasa-arvo on yksi Euroopan unionin tavoitteista. Ajan mittaan lainsäädäntö, oikeuskäytäntö ja perussopimusten muutokset ovat osaltaan vahvistaneet tätä periaatetta ja sen toteutumista unionissa. Euroopan parlamentti on aina päättäväisesti puolustanut naisten ja miesten tasa-arvoa.

Sukupuolten tasa-arvo on yksi Euroopan unionin tavoitteista. Ajan mittaan lainsäädäntö, oikeuskäytäntö ja perussopimusten muutokset ovat osaltaan vahvistaneet tätä periaatetta ja sen toteutumista unionissa. Euroopan parlamentti on aina päättäväisesti puolustanut naisten ja miesten tasa-arvoa.

Equality and the Fight against Racism and Xenophobia

28-03-2018

This study specifically focuses on EU action and cooperation concerning equality and the fight against racism and xenophobia. Despite existing EU legislation and action it argues that there are still significant gaps and barriers to equal treatment and to adequate prevention and prosecution of, and compensation for, hate crimes within the European Union. The impact of the gaps and barriers identified – in action and cooperation – at EU level are assessed both in terms of economic impact and their ...

This study specifically focuses on EU action and cooperation concerning equality and the fight against racism and xenophobia. Despite existing EU legislation and action it argues that there are still significant gaps and barriers to equal treatment and to adequate prevention and prosecution of, and compensation for, hate crimes within the European Union. The impact of the gaps and barriers identified – in action and cooperation – at EU level are assessed both in terms of economic impact and their impacts on economic rights and freedoms. To address these gaps and barriers, the study provides some options for EU action in the field.

Gender equality in the EU’s digital and media sectors

01-03-2018

As the ‘digital revolution’ expands into more areas of our lives, from the way we work, to how we consume, look after our health, learn and take part in politics, it is increasingly clear that this is not just a purely technical – or economic – process, but also a social one, and one which is not gender-neutral. Analysis of the risks and benefits finds that new information and communication technologies can be a gateway for women and girls to access new opportunities, means of expression and participation ...

As the ‘digital revolution’ expands into more areas of our lives, from the way we work, to how we consume, look after our health, learn and take part in politics, it is increasingly clear that this is not just a purely technical – or economic – process, but also a social one, and one which is not gender-neutral. Analysis of the risks and benefits finds that new information and communication technologies can be a gateway for women and girls to access new opportunities, means of expression and participation, and a powerful tool for advancing gender equality. In employment, for example, the digital sector offers highly skilled, better-paid jobs that could help to eliminate the gender pay gap. Likewise, the convergence between traditional and online media is blurring the boundaries between consumers and creators, and opening spaces for new voices, forms of awareness-raising and mobilisation – as the recent wave of ‘hashtag activism’ against sexual harassment has shown. On the other hand, if access is unequal, if algorithms or content available online are gender biased or do not reflect women’s needs and realities, or if women themselves are not involved in shaping that content, digitalisation can reinforce existing gender inequalities. It can also create new risks and barriers, not least the colonisation of online spaces by misogyny and cyber-violence. The need to ensure digital inclusion, and tackle gender stereotyping and other barriers to access, skills, representation and safety affecting women and girls has been recognised globally in the Sustainable Development Goals, and within the EU’s Digital Single Market Strategy, together with the need for better data to inform action. The existing data point to a global digital gender divide. Within the EU, this is not so much a question of women and girls lacking basic internet access or skills – although there are gender differences, and the number of women who have never used the internet remains significant (14 % of women compared to 12 % of men). The gender gaps are much wider in advanced IT skills, tertiary education, employment and decision-making in the digital sector, with girls and women less likely to continue studying science and technology beyond the age of 15, enter or continue a career in ICT, reach specialist and managerial levels or start their own tech companies. Research highlights that children’s perceptions of their own abilities and career aspirations are shaped early, and strongly influenced by attitudes and expectations in families, peer groups, schools, and wider society – including limiting or positive images, messages and role models conveyed by traditional and new media. Media monitoring shows that there has been some progress, but women continue to be under-represented as reporters and decision-makers and misrepresented in coverage across the news media as well as in film and other sectors.

Enhancing EU actions on economic, social and cultural rights within its human rights policy

22-02-2018

Article 21 of the Treaty on the European Union (TEU) affirms that the EU’s external action should be guided by the principle of ‘the universality and indivisibility of human rights’. However, economic, social and cultural rights (ESC rights) have received less attention than their civil and political counterparts within this sphere of EU activity. This study analyses the progress made by the EU in implementing its commitment to respect, protect and fulfil ESC rights in its external action, making ...

Article 21 of the Treaty on the European Union (TEU) affirms that the EU’s external action should be guided by the principle of ‘the universality and indivisibility of human rights’. However, economic, social and cultural rights (ESC rights) have received less attention than their civil and political counterparts within this sphere of EU activity. This study analyses the progress made by the EU in implementing its commitment to respect, protect and fulfil ESC rights in its external action, making specific reference to three such rights – namely the right to just and favourable conditions of work, the right to an adequate standard of living and the right to education. This study also identifies structural obstacles that may be impeding the ability of the EU to promote these rights in an effective manner, and offers a set of concrete recommendations which aim to further enhance EU action in this regard.

Ulkopuolinen laatija

Annabel EGAN, Ireland; Laurent PECH, Colm O’CINNEIDE

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