With the European elections just eight months away, the European Women’s Lobby (EWL) and it’s National Partners are working together to link European institutions with grassroots activists on the ground, going “beyond the Brussels bubble”, for parity democracy.
The launch of the Parity Democracy campaign sees women’s organisations from Romania, Cyprus, Lithuania and the Czech Republic working together across borders to highlight the continuing under-representation of women in European and national Parliaments.
The campaign pulls together information and resources online (paritydemocracy.eu), T.V. and radio spots to reach and include European citizens, as well as linking with the EWL 50/50 Campaign and institutions at European level. Parity democracy means the equal representation of women and men in political decision-making. It acknowledges that women and men should equally share rights, responsibilities and power, making the political system more democratic and just.
And the statistics highlight the gap that still needs to be bridged for equal representation of women and men to be reached.
Across Europe: Women make up less than 25% of senior ministers in national governments Women are only 24% of members of national governments, (just 12% in Romania) In in the European Parliament itself, women make up less than 35% of MEPs
The upcoming European elections will reveal how attitudes towards the European Union have shifted and changed over the past five years, and the leaders we want to make the vital decisions which will shape our lives at crucial time, up until 2019. The overall aim of the project is to promote active democratic citizenship and parity democracy in Europe. The specific aim is to promote the active participation of women as voters and candidates in the European Parliamentary elections in 2014, as well as increase the number of women among those elected.
PRESENTATION OF THE EUROPEAN CITIZEN’S PRIZE:
The European Women’s Lobby has been awarded the European Citizen’s Prize. Launched by the Parliament in 2008 to recognise exceptional achievements by Europeans, this year the EWL is one of year 43 organisations selected for the prize in honour of their good work contributing to and promoting better mutual understanding and closer integration between citizens, and facilitating cross-border, transnational cooperation within the EU.
Speaking in Brussels today, Cécile Greboval, EWL Secretary General said “I am delighted to accept the award on behalf of the EWL and in recognition of the work that EWL members do for advancing women’s rights and gender equality. The EWL plays a vital part in civil society dialogue and this award comes at a crucial time for the organisation. Continued resourcing and support for women’s NGOs is crucial in this regards, in particular in the current context of challenges for women’s rights”.
MEP Parvanova nominated the EWL for this prize and a jury composed of the following members selected the EWL as worthy recipients of the award. Annie Podimata (EPP-GR) MEP was a member of the jury along with Vice-Presidents, Alexander Alvaro (ALDE, DE), Isabelle Durant (Greens, BE), Otmar Karas (EPP, AT) and László Surján (EPP, HU), previous Presidents of the Parliament Pöttering (EPP, DE) and Enrique Barón Crespo (S&D, ES), as well as Annemarie Jorritsma, Co-president of the Committee of the Regions and Peter Matjaši, President of the European Youth Forum.
What is the European Women’s Lobby?
With more than 2000 member organisations, represented through 30 national co-ordinations and 21 European member organisations, the EWL is the largest umbrella organisation of women’s associations in Europe. The EWL works on a wide range of topics related to women’s rights but the promotion of the equal representation of women and men in decision-making has always been amongst the key areas of work of the EWL since its creation in 1990. The EWL led different campaigns and constant advocacy on this issue since 1990 and EWL member organisations have been doing the same in their respective countries.