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EDP MEPs tell us why they chose to fight for Europe

"Languages, cultures, regional differences and local initiatives must be cherished because they are Europe’s strongest asset."

Violence against women: the fight against invisible violence must not be forgotten

Debat 2020 violence aux femmes

As part of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, Sylvie Brunet took part in the debate "Women of the Mediterranean, between violence and strategies for freedom" organised by the European Parliament liaison office in Marseille.

This hybrid debate gathering 8 speakers from the political world and associations was the opportunity to exchange on the subject of violence from both shores of the Mediterranean. This theme, which is unfortunately still topical, has been exacerbated during the pandemic and the accompanying containment measures.

Sylvie Brunet, vice-president of the Women's Rights Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean, stressed the link between violence against women and the necessary autonomy they must have in order to be able to prevent or escape such violence. "Work and economic autonomy are key issues for the emancipation of women". In the European Parliament, she establishes a link between these subjects, which are dealt with jointly in the Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL) and Women's Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM) Committees.

She stressed that women face permanent obstacles, first and foremost stereotypes. Many girls do not go into certain occupations because they are told that they are not "girls' jobs". These stereotypes lead to a concentration of women in certain sectors rather than others. It is therefore a subject for guidance and education. "It's a heavy process, because we all have stereotypes that have been generated for generations," says Sylvie Brunet.

Then, throughout the professional career, obstacles are encountered, not only maternity, but also the poor distribution of tasks, which means that throughout the professional career there is this problem of equality.

The MEP placed particular emphasis on the important subject of training. "Training is the first vector of access to autonomy. The more autonomous and independent a woman is, the less vulnerable she will be". Many more women than men have to take care of the family and children, they are in a worrying situation. This is also the problem that prevents women from accessing power, they have less time for "networking".

Sylvie Brunet recalled her commitment at the European level on the digital divide, in the context of the digital transition. "In the European Union, 40% of our fellow citizens are not up to date, they do not have the tools, and this particularly affects women". The fight against the digital divide is fundamental, the associative world is mobilised on these subjects, especially for women and children, but more investment is needed to improve gender balance and equality in the workplace.

Finally, the EDP MEP called for more cooperation: "In the context of women's issues in the Mediterranean, I hope that our work will be relaunched, because at the moment it is at a standstill with the crisis, we don't have meetings of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean. I congratulate the associations and foundations for being active, we must remain vigilant".