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gender equality

EU: A long road to gender equality

MEPs assessed the progress made regarding women’s rights over the past 25 years and the many challenges still ahead, in a resolution adopted.

More than 25 years after the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BPfA) was adopted, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) regret that, although some progress has been made, no EU member state has fully attained the targets set in the text, as the 5th review of the BPFA published by the European Institute for Gender Equality in 2020 shows.

In the resolution adopted by 505 votes in favour, 109 against and 76 abstentions, MEPs also express their deep concern regarding the current pandemic, which exacerbates existing gender inequalities, threatens to reverse the progress made until now, and could push 47 million more women and girls below the poverty line worldwide.

Towards a more balanced gender representation in the economy

The European Parliament reiterates its call on EU member states to unblock the Women on Boards Directive, and pushes for EU targets, action plans, timelines and temporary special measures to move towards a balanced representation in all executive, legislative and administrative positions.

Adopting EU legislation to increase pay transparency would help to close the gender gap, MEPs stress, who regret that the Commission proposal on that issue has not yet been presented as planned.

Eradicating gender-based violence

In order to tackle violence against women, MEPs reiterate their call to ratify the Istanbul Convention and urge the Commission to come up with an EU Directive to prevent and combat all forms of gender-based violence. The increase in domestic violence during the COVID-19 pandemic must be urgently addressed, they add, by providing protection services for victims, such as helplines, safe accommodation and health services.

Specific measures are also needed to eradicate cyber violence, including online harassment, cyberbullying and hate speech, which disproportionately affect women and girls.

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