EUROPEAN WOMEN’S LOBBY
The European Women’s Lobby (EWL) is the largest European umbrella network that brings together the women’s movement. EWL:s mission is to work for equality and women’s rights within EU politics and acts as a catalyst connecting different actors and organizations to bring change at EU level. The Swedish Women’s lobby is the Swedish national coordination organization.
Members in EWL are national member organizations that which in turn include national and regional associations and organizations as well as European and international networks. Currently, the EWL has 31 national coordination organizations in countries within the EU, in candidate countries and in European Free Trade Association countries. EWL’s full members are all umbrella organizations and through this wide network EWL is representing a total of more than 2000 organizations. President of the European Women’s Lobby is Gwendoline Lefebvre, she has been a Board Member of the EWL since May 2016, representing the Coordination Française pour le Lobby Européen des Femmes, EWL’s National Coordination in France. Linda Schang from The Swedish Women’s Lobby is a member of the board of EWL.
Through their member organizations EWL organizes lobbying activities to influence European Institutions and governments. Here you can read more about EWLs goals and values.
To fight violence against women there is EWL Centre on Violence against Women and EWL Observatory on Violence against Women. They work to ensure that the women’s movements knowledge about men’s violence against women is included in the work against men’s violence against women. The observatory consists of 30 international experts from Europe. In the observatory Sweden is represented by Marie Unander-Scharin.
In the spring of 2016 EWL worked on the project #womensvoices that focuses on raising awareness about the situation for refugee women and girls. You can read more about the project here.
You can find more information about EWL on their website.
EU AND EQUALITY
Gender equality is on of EU:s core values. It dates back to 1957 when the principal of equal pay for equal work became a part of the Treaty of Rome.
The last few decades EU has been working to further equality through equality legislation and gender mainstreaming (implementing an equality perspective into all areas of politics).
Below you will find information about how EU:s institutions and agencies work for equality and women’s rights.
the european comission
The European Commission is divided into different departments, so called Directorates – General. Equality is handled by the DG justice department, where Vĕra Jourová is commissioner.
The commission works to further equality within all areas of politics. Among others, they have these thematic priorities: Men and women should have the same opportunities to economic independence, equal pay for equal work and to fight men’s violence against women.
eige – european institute for gender equality
The European Institute for Gender Equality, EIGE, is one of EUs institutions and works to further gender equality. EIGE primarily works through gathering information, analyzing and informing about gender equality in EU.
EIGE helps the European Commission and the memberstates to report about indicators on the EU-level. EIGE primarily uses The Beijing Platform for Action but within areas of special interest they also develop new and more indicators.
FEMM- THE COMMITTEE ON WOMEN’S RIGHTS AND GENDER EQUALITY
FEMM is a committee within the European Parliament that has existed since 1984. The committee works to further women’s rights and to abolish gender discrimination.
EU DIRECTIVES AND ARTICLES ABOUT GENDER EQUALITY
Protection against discrimination in Europe mainly has two different regulatory systems that interact with each other. There is Council of Europe’s Convention on Human Rights and EU:s treaty’s and charters. EU:s regulatory system protects from discrimination in, for example, your professional life.
The European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), that is based on UN:s convention on Human Rights, protects against discrimination in 47 European countries. All EU-members have ratified the convention. Protection against discrimination is an important part of human rights. The purpose of the convention is that everyone should be allowed to enjoy their human rights.
EU:s treaty and The European Convention on Human Rights is the cornerstone for EU:s regulatory system against discrimination. The protection for women in their professional lives was introduces already in 1958. It wasn’t until 1999 though that EU was given bigger mandate in the subject.
The European Convention on Human Rights is binding for the European institutions and the memberstates when implementing EU legislation.
THE EUROPE 2020-STRATEGY
In June 2010 the EU heads of state and governments agreed on the configuraiton of Europe 2020-strategy. The strategy replaces The Lisbon Strategy and is EU:s new framework to create long term sustainable development and more jobs in the whole region.
Women’s organisaitons around all of Europe are worried that the gender equality aspect has been weakened in the new strategy. Gender equality is less prioritised than in earlier strategies. There’s also a worry that the role of social welfare, that has a pinnacle role for gender equality and women’s life’s, will be set aside at times of economic crises.
The Swedish Women’s Lobby calls for a clear gender perspective that focuses on women’s rights, and that Sweden will play an active role in raising awareness about the need for a gender equality perspective within EU. Below you’ll find material we have produced on the subject.
Background documents for The Europe 2020-strategy
Guidelines for the member states employment policies