2009/2101(INI)

Equality between women and men in the European Union — 2009

Procedure completed

2009/2101(INI) Equality between women and men in the European Union — 2009
RoleCommitteeRapporteurShadows
Opinion EMPL
Lead FEMM TARABELLA Marc (S&D)
Lead committee dossier: FEMM/7/01000
Legal Basis RoP 119-p2
Subjects
Links

Activites

  • 2010/02/10 Text adopted by Parliament, single reading
    • T7-0021/2010 summary
    • Results of vote in Parliament
  • 2010/02/10 Commission response to text adopted in plenary
    • SP(2010)2011
    • DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, ŠPIDLA Vladimír
  • 2010/02/08 Debate in Parliament
  • 2010/02/01 Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading
  • 2010/02/01 Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading
  • 2010/01/25 Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading
  • 2009/12/07 Deadline Amendments
  • 2009/11/09 Committee draft report
  • 2009/10/19 Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading
  • 2009/10/15 EP officialisation
  • 2009/02/27 Non-legislative basic document published
    • COM(2009)0077 summary
  • 2009/02/27 Date
  • 2009/02/27 Non-legislative basic document
    • COM(2009)0077 summary
    • DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, ŠPIDLA Vladimír

Documents

AmendmentsDossier
114 2009/2101(INI) Equality between women and men in the European Union — 2009
2009/09/12 FEMM 114 amendments...
source: PE-430.929

History

(these mark the time of scraping, not the official date of the change)

2012-02-09
activities added
  • date
    2009-02-27
    docs
    • url
      http://eur-lex.europa.eu/smartapi/cgi/sga_doc?smartapi!celexplus!prod!DocNumber&lg=EN&type_doc=COMfinal&an_doc=2009&nu_doc=0077
      text
      • PURPOSE : to present the 2009 report on equality between women and men.

        CONTENT : the European Commission reports each year on progress towards gender equality and presents challenges and priorities for the future.  2008 was the midpoint for the implementation of the Roadmap for Equality between women and men, as well as Member States' implementation of the European Pact for Gender Equality.

        The report states that shared efforts have produced positive results, particularly as regards female employment, but overall progress is still too slow in most areas and gender equality is far from being achieved.

        This report addresses the challenges and the policy responses for removing barriers to women's and men's full participation in the labour market. It also addresses the importance of correcting the gender imbalance in decision-making. Although the economic slowdown has changed the context, it is important to continue to strengthen gender equality policies.

        Main developments:

        • gender gaps: female employment in the EU is now close to the Lisbon objective of 60% by 2010, having increased from 51.1% in 1997 to 58.3% in 2007. However, there are major differences between Member States, with figures varying from 36.9% to 73.2%. The average gap in employment rates between women and men is narrowing. However, if one compares the employment rate of women and men with children under 12 to care for, this gender gap is almost doubled. In the EU more than 6 million women in the 25 to 49 age group say they are obliged not to work or to work only part-time because of their family responsibilities. Better reconciliation of work and private life for both women and men is essential to achieve gender equality. The report states that the development of affordable and quality childcare facilities is vital for enabling both parents to combine work and family life. 
        • education: women  accounted for 58.9% of university degrees in the EU in 2006 (56.7% in 2004). However, gender differences remain as regards the fields of study, especially in engineering and computing while women predominate in business, administration and law (60 %). Women are still lagging behind men in the use of new technologies and have difficulties in accessing more specialist ICT-related jobs. Women's high level of education is not directly reflected in the positions they hold in the labour market. A better gender balance across studies and occupations could contribute to meeting future skills and labour market needs;
        • gender pay gap: one of the consequences of gender segregation on the labour market is the persisting gender pay gap (17.4% on average in the EU), partly due to the fact that women are concentrated in less valued jobs and positions than men. Women are more at risk of falling into poverty, and more vulnerable in times of rising unemployment since they are more often on fixed-term contracts than men.
        • high level positions: the number of female managers in the EU has remained stable over the last few years, averaging 30%, and figures are even lower in a majority of Member States. The proportion of women directors of top quoted company boards is 3% across the EU, while one in ten company board members is a woman. This is paradoxical when female students outnumber male in business, administration and law.
        • politics: the average share of women members of national parliaments increased from 16% to 24% between 1997 and 2008, but national figures range from 9% to 46%. In national governments, one out of four senior ministers is a woman, but variations between Member States range from 0 to 60% female ministers.  There has been some progress within the European Institutions, but women are still underrepresented in top positions. Only three out of ten members of the European Parliament are women.

        Policy and legislative developments: one of the main initiatives in 2008 for achieving gender equality was the adoption by the European Commission of several measures aiming at supporting better work- life balance:

        The report goes on to describe: i) equal participation of women and men in political decision-making; ii) initiatives to achieve equal treatment between women and men (monitoring the implementation of Directives 2002/73/EC and 2004/113/EC); iii) reviewing the adequacy of EU current legislation on equal pay to tackle the gender pay gap.

        Policy orientations: amongst the actions which the Commission envisages in the short to medium term, the report highlights the following : 

        1. encouraging equal sharing of private and family responsibilities between women and men: the main measures will be as follows :

        • the development of affordable, accessible and quality care services for children and other dependants. The potential of the Structural Funds and EAFRD should be fully utilised ;
        • reconciliation policies need to allow for individual choices for both women and men as regards flexible working and leave arrangements. Measures such as paternity leave can encourage men to share parenting and other care responsibilities equally with women;
        • reconciliation policies need to be implemented at all levels in the workplace, so that a more equitable use of women's and men's time becomes the norm; 
        • the proposals reviewing the two directives on maternity leave and rights of self-employed women need to be adopted swiftly by the legislator.

        2. tackling stereotypes: combating gender stereotypes means tackling the root cause of persisting gender gaps in the labour market. The Commission proposes measures to:

        • remove discriminatory practices and attitudes from educational material and methods, teaching and vocational guidance;
        • strengthen measures for training and awareness-raising at the workplace;
        • encourage the media, including the advertising industry to transmit non-stereotyped images and content, in particular of women in decision-making positions.

        3. promoting equal participation of women and men in decision-making positions: investing in gender balance in business and management can improve corporate governance and profitability. The Commission proposes the following :

        • the promotion of equality in decision-making needs stronger commitment and partnership at all levels: governments, regional and local authorities, political parties, social partners, business managers, human resources teams, NGOs, educational institutions, media, men and women ;
        • specific policies and measures, including where appropriate positive action, equality plans, mentoring and targeted training. All appointments, recruitment, job and skill evaluation, salaries and promotion should be transparent and gender-unbiased;
        • improve the collection, analysis and dissemination of comparable data existing at EU level broken down by sex; 
        • encourage political parties and European and national parliaments to take specific measures to involve more women and improve the balanced representation of women and men on voting lists and in nominations for elected offices.

        4. creating higher awareness and better understanding of gender equality: more and better communication should create awareness and make gender issues more visible and understandable at all levels of society. The report proposes:

        • to reinforce gender mainstreaming by intensified training and capacity-building for those involved in policy-making;
        • to develop gender statistics and indicators based on existing data, including the integration of a gender perspective in policy analysis and monitoring;
        • to improve knowledge and understanding of gender issues at all levels of society.

        Next steps: in view of the contribution that gender equality can make to growth, employment and social cohesion, the Commission invites the European Council to urge the Member States to respond without delay to the challenges outlined in this report by reaffirming their commitment to integrating the gender dimension in all policy fields in partnership with the social partners and civil society. 

      title
      COM(2009)0077
      type
      Non-legislative basic document published
      celexid
      CELEX:52009DC0077:EN
    body
    type
    Non-legislative basic document published
  • body
    EP
    date
    2009-02-27
    type
    Date
  • date
    2009-02-27
    docs
    • url
      http://eur-lex.europa.eu/smartapi/cgi/sga_doc?smartapi!celexplus!prod!DocNumber&lg=EN&type_doc=COMfinal&an_doc=2009&nu_doc=0077
      text
      • PURPOSE : to present the 2009 report on equality between women and men.

        CONTENT : the European Commission reports each year on progress towards gender equality and presents challenges and priorities for the future.  2008 was the midpoint for the implementation of the Roadmap for Equality between women and men, as well as Member States' implementation of the European Pact for Gender Equality.

        The report states that shared efforts have produced positive results, particularly as regards female employment, but overall progress is still too slow in most areas and gender equality is far from being achieved.

        This report addresses the challenges and the policy responses for removing barriers to women's and men's full participation in the labour market. It also addresses the importance of correcting the gender imbalance in decision-making. Although the economic slowdown has changed the context, it is important to continue to strengthen gender equality policies.

        Main developments:

        • gender gaps: female employment in the EU is now close to the Lisbon objective of 60% by 2010, having increased from 51.1% in 1997 to 58.3% in 2007. However, there are major differences between Member States, with figures varying from 36.9% to 73.2%. The average gap in employment rates between women and men is narrowing. However, if one compares the employment rate of women and men with children under 12 to care for, this gender gap is almost doubled. In the EU more than 6 million women in the 25 to 49 age group say they are obliged not to work or to work only part-time because of their family responsibilities. Better reconciliation of work and private life for both women and men is essential to achieve gender equality. The report states that the development of affordable and quality childcare facilities is vital for enabling both parents to combine work and family life. 
        • education: women  accounted for 58.9% of university degrees in the EU in 2006 (56.7% in 2004). However, gender differences remain as regards the fields of study, especially in engineering and computing while women predominate in business, administration and law (60 %). Women are still lagging behind men in the use of new technologies and have difficulties in accessing more specialist ICT-related jobs. Women's high level of education is not directly reflected in the positions they hold in the labour market. A better gender balance across studies and occupations could contribute to meeting future skills and labour market needs;
        • gender pay gap: one of the consequences of gender segregation on the labour market is the persisting gender pay gap (17.4% on average in the EU), partly due to the fact that women are concentrated in less valued jobs and positions than men. Women are more at risk of falling into poverty, and more vulnerable in times of rising unemployment since they are more often on fixed-term contracts than men.
        • high level positions: the number of female managers in the EU has remained stable over the last few years, averaging 30%, and figures are even lower in a majority of Member States. The proportion of women directors of top quoted company boards is 3% across the EU, while one in ten company board members is a woman. This is paradoxical when female students outnumber male in business, administration and law.
        • politics: the average share of women members of national parliaments increased from 16% to 24% between 1997 and 2008, but national figures range from 9% to 46%. In national governments, one out of four senior ministers is a woman, but variations between Member States range from 0 to 60% female ministers.  There has been some progress within the European Institutions, but women are still underrepresented in top positions. Only three out of ten members of the European Parliament are women.

        Policy and legislative developments: one of the main initiatives in 2008 for achieving gender equality was the adoption by the European Commission of several measures aiming at supporting better work- life balance:

        The report goes on to describe: i) equal participation of women and men in political decision-making; ii) initiatives to achieve equal treatment between women and men (monitoring the implementation of Directives 2002/73/EC and 2004/113/EC); iii) reviewing the adequacy of EU current legislation on equal pay to tackle the gender pay gap.

        Policy orientations: amongst the actions which the Commission envisages in the short to medium term, the report highlights the following : 

        1. encouraging equal sharing of private and family responsibilities between women and men: the main measures will be as follows :

        • the development of affordable, accessible and quality care services for children and other dependants. The potential of the Structural Funds and EAFRD should be fully utilised ;
        • reconciliation policies need to allow for individual choices for both women and men as regards flexible working and leave arrangements. Measures such as paternity leave can encourage men to share parenting and other care responsibilities equally with women;
        • reconciliation policies need to be implemented at all levels in the workplace, so that a more equitable use of women's and men's time becomes the norm; 
        • the proposals reviewing the two directives on maternity leave and rights of self-employed women need to be adopted swiftly by the legislator.

        2. tackling stereotypes: combating gender stereotypes means tackling the root cause of persisting gender gaps in the labour market. The Commission proposes measures to:

        • remove discriminatory practices and attitudes from educational material and methods, teaching and vocational guidance;
        • strengthen measures for training and awareness-raising at the workplace;
        • encourage the media, including the advertising industry to transmit non-stereotyped images and content, in particular of women in decision-making positions.

        3. promoting equal participation of women and men in decision-making positions: investing in gender balance in business and management can improve corporate governance and profitability. The Commission proposes the following :

        • the promotion of equality in decision-making needs stronger commitment and partnership at all levels: governments, regional and local authorities, political parties, social partners, business managers, human resources teams, NGOs, educational institutions, media, men and women ;
        • specific policies and measures, including where appropriate positive action, equality plans, mentoring and targeted training. All appointments, recruitment, job and skill evaluation, salaries and promotion should be transparent and gender-unbiased;
        • improve the collection, analysis and dissemination of comparable data existing at EU level broken down by sex; 
        • encourage political parties and European and national parliaments to take specific measures to involve more women and improve the balanced representation of women and men on voting lists and in nominations for elected offices.

        4. creating higher awareness and better understanding of gender equality: more and better communication should create awareness and make gender issues more visible and understandable at all levels of society. The report proposes:

        • to reinforce gender mainstreaming by intensified training and capacity-building for those involved in policy-making;
        • to develop gender statistics and indicators based on existing data, including the integration of a gender perspective in policy analysis and monitoring;
        • to improve knowledge and understanding of gender issues at all levels of society.

        Next steps: in view of the contribution that gender equality can make to growth, employment and social cohesion, the Commission invites the European Council to urge the Member States to respond without delay to the challenges outlined in this report by reaffirming their commitment to integrating the gender dimension in all policy fields in partnership with the social partners and civil society. 

      title
      COM(2009)0077
      type
      Non-legislative basic document
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    2009-10-15
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    EP officialisation
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    2009-10-19
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  • date
    2009-11-09
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  • date
    2010-01-25
    text
    • The Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality adopted the own-initiative report drawn up by Marc TARABELLA (S&D, BE) on equality between women and men in the European Union - 2009.  It congratulates the Commission for emphasising in its report the importance of strengthening gender equality policies at a time of economic upheaval, but points to the need for further practical action and new policies. Members are critical of the fact that economic recovery projects mainly focus on male dominated employment. They underline that support for the future of men's rather than women's employment increases rather than decreases gender inequality, and insist that gender equality must be mainstreamed in European, national and international plans for economic recovery.

      Parliament urges the Council, Commission and Member States to take certain measures to defend social rights and to guarantee that the economic and financial crisis will not lead to cuts in social benefits and social services, in particular child care and care for the elderly. These include the following:

      ·        conduct gender-specific impact assessments before implementing austerity policies, so that women will not be disproportionately affected;

      ·        prepare recovery policies that reflect the specific needs and circumstances of women and men, particularly through the use of gender mainstreaming and gender budgeting.

      Improve the quality of work for women: Parliament welcomes the fact that the target of a 60% female employment rate by 2010, set at the Lisbon European Council of March 2000, will soon be reached, but notes that a high proportion of the jobs concerned are, regrettably, insecure and poorly paid. It deplores also the major disparities among the Member States, with rates ranging from 37.4% in Malta to 74.3% in Denmark, and asks the Member States, therefore, to take the measures needed in order to apply Directive 2006/54/EC effectively. Members also suggest other measures, such as (i) giving consideration to the situation of spouses helping in small family businesses and developing the legal construct of shared ownership, in order to ensure full recognition of women's rights in the agricultural sector; (ii) positive action to integrate women in projects and programmes on ecological transformation, i.e. in the renewables sector, and (iii) promoting female entrepreneurship in the industrial sector.

      Equal pay for equal work: Members point out that women's personal income and paid employment remains key to their economic autonomy. They are exposed to a higher risk of poverty because the gender pay gap has remained stubbornly wide. Member States are asked to apply Directive 2006/54/EC immediately and, in particular, to promote the principal of 'equal pay for equal work' or that of 'work of equal value'. Action should also be taken with a view to reducing pension disparities between women and men. Parliament deplores the fact that the Commission has not yet responded to the resolution of 18 November 2008 with a legislative proposal for revision of the existing legislation relating to the application of the principle of equal pay for men and women. It also proposes making 22 February 'International Equal Pay Day'.

      European Charter of Women's rights: Parliament wishes to see a European charter of women's rights established as soon as possible in order to bring about real improvement in women's rights throughout the Union and to introduce machinery for ensuring gender equality in all areas of social, economic and political life. The Commission and Member States are asked to run awareness-raising campaigns in schools, workplaces and the media in order to promote diversification of career choices, especially for girls, and combat persistent sexist stereotyping and degrading images, with particular emphasis on campaigns that highlight men's role in better sharing of family responsibilities.

      Facilitate work-life balance: Member States are asked to foster the spread of good practices in this area. Members emphasise the importance of pre-school childcare provision, child-minding services and the provision of assistance to elderly persons. Whilst Parliament congratulates the Commission on the steps it has taken and particularly on its proposals for revision of Directive 92/85/EEC in relation to maternity protection and Directive 86/613/EC in relation to 'assisting spouses' in family businesses, it considers that the Commission's proposed revision of Directive 92/85/EEC falls short of what would be desirable from the point of view of promoting work-life balance for men and women. It maintains that paternity leave is an issue that needs to be addressed.

      More women in positions of responsibility: Member States are asked to take effective steps, notably through legislation, to encourage gender balance in corporate, administrative and political positions of responsibility, with binding targets to ensure the equal representation of women and men. Parliament notes in this regard the positive effects of the use of electoral quotas on the representation of women. It welcomes the significant increase in the numbers of female chairs of parliamentary committees and female EP vice-presidents. Members consider in this regard that the proportion of women Commissioners-designate (representing 33% of the total) - achieved with great difficulty - is the bare minimum. In future nominations, there should be two candidates, one of each gender, so as to facilitate the composition of a more representative Commission.

      Migrant women: Parliament asks Member States for measures to promote the integration of migrants while also ensuring that they are given access to education and training, and courses in the language of their host country. It asks for particular note to be taken of more vulnerable groups of women - disabled women, women with dependants, elderly women, minority and immigrant women and women prisoners - and to develop targeted measures to meet their needs.

      Fight against trafficking: Members call on the Czech Republic, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Hungary, the Netherlands, Finland and Sweden to act at once to ratify the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings. They point out that violence against women is still a major problem, and call on the Commission to establish a European Year for combating violence against women. Parliament endorses the Spanish Presidency's proposals to establish a European inter-gender violence monitoring centre and introduce the European protection order for victims and a common EU-wide telephone helpline for victims. It urges the Council and Commission to establish a clear legal basis for combating all forms of violence against women, including trafficking.

      Sexual and reproductive rights: Parliament emphasises that women must have control over their sexual and reproductive rights, notably through easy access to contraception and abortion. Women must have access free of charge to consultation on abortion, and Parliament supports actions to improve women's access to sexual and reproductive health services and to raise their awareness of their rights and of available services.

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FEMM/7/01000
reference
2009/2101(INI)
title
Equality between women and men in the European Union — 2009
legal_basis
  • Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament EP 119-p2
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Procedure completed
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© European Union, 2011 – Source: European Parliament