Samstag, 22.02.2020 04:06 Uhr

Gender equality in the EU: the Council adopts conclusions

Verantwortlicher Autor: Peter Schellinck Brussels, 11.12.2019, 13:50 Uhr
Presse-Ressort von: Peter Schellinck Bericht 4043x gelesen

Brussels [ENA] The Council today, 10/12/2019, adopted conclusions on gender-equal economies in the EU, which aim to provide an input into the gender equality strategy of the new Commission. Drafted within the framework of the annual review of the implementation of the UN agenda for gender equality and women's empowerment by the EU and its member states (Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, adopted in 1995),

the conclusions acknowledge the progress achieved by the EU in certain areas, such as the adoption of the work-life balance directive, the increased share of women on the boards of large companies and the reduced number of women and men at risk of poverty or social exclusion. At the same time, the conclusions call on member states and the Commission to further promote gender equality as a political priority and through concrete measures.

Draft conclusions of the Council of the European Union and the representatives of the governments of the Member States, meeting within the Council, on the review of the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action by the Member States and the EU institutions: 1. ACKNOWLEDGING that equality between women and men is one of the common and fundamental principles of the European Union, explicitly mentioned in Articles 2 and 3(3) of the Treaty on European Union, Article 8 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and Article 23 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights.

2. REAFFIRMING the importance of ensuring equal opportunities for both women and men and the full promotion and protection of, and respect for, the full enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms, which are universal, indivisible, interdependent and interrelated and are essential for the empowerment of women and girls and the advancement of peace, security and development, by all women and girls. Full realisation of the United Nations' Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and vigorous implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action (BPfA) in the EU’s internal and external policies are an integral part of this process and approach.

3. RECALLING THAT gender equality, including equality of treatment and opportunities and equal pay for work of equal value, and work-life balance are recognised in Principles 2 and 9 of the European Pillar of Social Rights proclaimed by the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on 17 November 2017. 4. STRESSING that gender equality forms an integral part of the economy of wellbeing, which underlines the mutually reinforcing nature of wellbeing and economic growth, and that gender equality and the promotion, protection and fulfilment of women’s and girls’ rights are preconditions for equitable and inclusive sustainable development, as well as important values and objectives in themselves.

5. STRESSING the importance of continuing with a dual approach to gender equality, established as a major global strategy for the promotion of gender equality in the Beijing Platform for Action, combining the systematic integration of a gender perspective into all EU policies and activities (gender mainstreaming) with specific measures. 6. STRESSING that economic and fiscal policies may affect women and men differently and that it is important to systematically assess them from the perspective of gender equality and the projected impact on women and on men, on girls and on boys.

7. CONSIDERING that 2020 marks an important moment for gender equality and women’s rights since the international community will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the 20th anniversary of UN Security Council resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. Various strategic frameworks with relevance to gender equality will come to the end of their term, including the European Pact for Gender Equality (2011-2020), the Commission’s ‘Strategic engagement for gender equality 2016-2019’ and the EU Gender Action Plan II, ‘Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment: Transforming the Lives of Girls and Women through EU External Relations 2016-2020’.

8. RECALLING that gender equality is central for the achievement of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and that the EU is committed to the gender-transformative implementation, follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda in both its internal and external action, and TAKING NOTE of the Commission’s Reflection Paper ‘Towards a Sustainable Europe by 2030’ and the Council conclusions ‘Towards an ever more sustainable Union by 2030’ on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in the EU. Gender-sensitive environmental and climate policies and the equal participation of women in decision-making promote both gender equality and the effectiveness of tackling the climate change.

9. TAKING NOTE of the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE)’s report ‘Beijing +25: The 5th Review of the Implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action in the EU Member States’ which presents the main trends, current progress, and major challenges in the field of gender equality in the EU. 10. ACKNOWLEDGING that progress has been made in certain areas, such as the adoption of the Work-Life Balance Directive, the increased share of women on the boards of large companies, the reduced number of women and men at risk of poverty or social exclusion and improvements in gender mainstreaming in the EU’s external action. This reflects the commitment of the EU and its Member States to the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action.

11. STRESSING that while old challenges remain, new ones are emerging. Objectives set for gender equality have not been fully achieved. In order to tackle these challenges, continued efforts are needed at both EU and Member State level to ensure effective gender equality policies and gender mainstreaming and the full realisation of women’s rights. 12. STRESSING the role of civil society organisations, including women’s organisations and women human rights defenders, in promoting women’s rights and gender equality and the importance of continued cooperation with civil society in order to achieve the objectives of the Beijing Platform for Action.

13. TAKING NOTE of the outcome of the High Level Conference ‘Europe for Gender Equality? Taking Stock – Taking Action’ held in Helsinki on 30 September and 1 October 2019, where the participants stressed the need for reaffirming the political commitment to gender equality in the EU and for strengthening the effective implementation of gender mainstreaming, including in economic and budgetary policies.

14. WELCOMING the four new indicators proposed by the EIGE in its 2018 report on the review of the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action in the EU Member States, entitled ‘Gender equality and youth: opportunities and risks of digitalisation’ , which focused on digital skills, self-confidence in using digital technologies, the use of the internet for civic or political participation, and cyberbullying.

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