International Women's Day : Two Ep Resolutions Enshrine Principle of Gender Equality

Article excerpt

On the occasion of the 100th International Women's Day, MEPs adopted two non-legislative resolutions reaffirming the need to fight against wage disparities, violence against women and female poverty in Europe.

The resolution on equality between women and men in the European Union encourages legislative action on pay inequality and the fight against physical, sexual or psychological abuse of women. MEPs call on member states to fully implement equal pay for equal work' laws and suggest that the Commission impose sanctions on member states that fail to meet their obligations. Currently, the wage gap between women and men is on average 18% in the European Union, but is more than 25% in some countries, while 20-25% of women in Europe suffer from physical violence at some point during their lives. "The economic and financial crisis should be seen as a chance to put forward new and innovative proposals on employment, remuneration, working hours and the filling of positions of responsibility," MEPs state in the resolution, fearing that recent imbalances have further aggravated the sectoral and occupational segregation of men and women. They call on member states and the Commission to ensure that social benefits and social services regarding child care and assistance for elderly and vulnerable citizens are maintained and that the impact of the crisis is quantified and measured via the development of accurate statistics. …