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For real gender equality in the European Parliament

Irene Tolleret
Parlement européen

Today in Strasbourg, MEPs adopted the report of our French MEP Irène Tolleret which aims to better integrate the principle of equality between men and women in the European Parliament.

Although the place of women in European politics is progressing, this progress is slow and the European institutions remain male-dominated environments. This is the case of the European Parliament, where parity is far from being achieved in its different levels. Moreover, the integration of the principle of gender equality in all our policies is slow to be put in place.

Irene Tolleret is therefore proud that the Parliament voted in favour of her report, which proposes concrete solutions to remedy this unfavourable situation for gender equality.

Promoting equal access to the European Parliament

Many women aspire to participate in European politics, but obstacles persist. To counter these barriers, the report calls for the introduction of quotas and gender balanced lists in the new European electoral law. Quotas have proved successful in many European countries, and have enabled women to gain access to positions of power. Let's not wait any longer to implement them at the European level!

Reforming procedural rules for real parity

Although MEPs recently elected a woman to head the institution, which is a positive signal for the representation of women in politics, the internal workings of the European Parliament still do not give women their full place. Committee chairs, appointment of coordinators, rapporteurs and shadow rapporteurs, distribution of speaking time: the report calls for parity to be truly applied at all levels of operation.

Better integration of the gender dimension in parliamentary activities

For too long, public policies have been made by men for men. A policy that does not take into account the specific needs of women is, at best, a lost opportunity to improve gender equality, at worst, a policy that will exacerbate inequalities! The report aims to address this problem by offering training to MEPs and their assistants so that they are better able to integrate the gender perspective into their various dossiers.

Integrating the gender perspective into European legislation

Gender mainstreaming in public policies is still too fragmented. Yet it is one of the European Union's official approaches to achieving gender equality! This is why the report calls for every legislative and non-legislative measure presented by the European Commission to be accompanied by a gender impact assessment. Having gender-disaggregated data means being aware of the differential impact of our policies on women. It is this awareness that allows us to act. It also recommends that the European budget explicitly takes into account the objective of gender equality so that every euro spent benefits women as much as men.

Strengthening the symbolism of gender equality in the European Parliament

Although symbols alone are not enough to achieve gender equality, they are necessary because they help to break down the gender stereotypes that are so detrimental to the fight for equality. This is why the report proposes to name the buildings and rooms of the European Parliament in accordance with the principle of equality and diversity.