Women in Parliament in 2007: The Year in Perspective

The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) has published a new brochure which provides an overview and analysis of progress made, and setbacks encountered, by women in accessing parliament during elections and renewals held in 2007. It presents data on women’s representation in national parliaments, regional and world trends, information on women presiding officers and women candidates. It also analyses mechanisms aimed at supporting women’s access to parliament.

According to IPU the number of countries where women reached or surpassed a critical mass of 30 percent representation in parliament remained even in 2007. In all, there are 20 countries around the world in which women have a critical mass in lower or single houses of parliament, five of which held elections during 2007: Argentina, Belgium, Denmark, Finland and Iceland. The critical mass is important as it is widely considered to be the level at which women’s representation in parliament is great enough to influence policies and institutions.

You can read the whole brochure here.


President of the European Commission supports the 50/50 Campaign

Jose Manuel BarrosoThe President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso has now joined those known personalities who have declared their support for the 50/50 Campaign. The EWL thanks him for his valuable support which indicates that there might be real political will to push for 50/50 when the next European Commission is nominated.

The Vice-president of the European Commission Margot Wallström has supported the campaign since the beginning. In addition to Mr Barroso and Ms Wallström, 10 other Commissioners have already given their support for the campaign.

New high level supporters for the 50/50 Campaign

The EWL 50/50 Campaign continues to gather high level support. During the days following the launch of the Campaign on 16 September, the following personalities have declared their support for the campaign.

Heidrun Silhavy, Minister for Women, Media and Regional Policy, Austria
Michael Bünker, Bischof der Evangelischen Kirche A.B. in Österreich, Austria
Luc Van Den Brande, President of the Committee of the Regions, Belgium
Krastanka Shakliyan, Member of Parliament, Bulgaria
Ritt Bjerregaard, Lord Mayor, City of Copenhagen, Denmark
Britta Thomsen, MEP (PSE), Denmark
Helga Trüpel, MEP (Greens), Germany
Brigitte Langenhagen, former MEP (EPP-ED), Germany
George A. Papandreau, President of Socialist International and President of PASOK, Greece
Donata Gottardi, MEP (PSE),Italy
Catiuscia Marini, MEP (PSE), Italy
Maria Grazia Pagano, MEP (PSE), Italy
Patrizia Toia, MEP (ALDE), Italy
Luisa Morgantini, MEP (GUE), Italy
Elisa Ferreira, MEP (PSE), Portugal
Cucha Carvalheiro, actress, Portugal
Jorge Lacão, Secretary of State of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, Portugal
Zoran Janković, Mayor of Ljubljana, Slovenia
Raül Romeva i Rueda, MEP (Greens), MEP (PSE), Vice Chair of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality, Spain
Nalin Pekgul, President of Social Democratic Women in Sweden, Sweden

PES supports 50/50 Campaign for more women at the top

The Party of European Socialists today underlined its full support for the European Women’s Lobby 50/50 campaign for more women at the top of European politics.

Zita Gurmai, President of PES Women and who is taking part in the European Women’s Lobby campaign launch today, said “It gives me great pleasure to support the European Women’s Lobby 50/50 campaign. We need more women at every level of European politics, including at the top. It has been a disgrace to see how few women were ever mentioned in all that talk about people supposedly in the frame for top EU jobs. I think it made people realize that something needed to be done to promote the involvement of women. The EU is not a men’s club.”

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The French Presidency sends a message for the 50/50 Campaign

Valerie LetardAs the French minister for Solidarity Valérie Létard was not able to be present at the launch of the 50/50 Campaign on 16 September, she sent a message which was read during the launch.

In her message Ms Létard expressed her regret for not being able to be present, and declared her support for the Campaign. She remainded that although much progress has been achieved in the field of equality between women and men during the past thirty years, a lot remains to be done. Continue reading

High level women decision-makers gathering in Brussels support

Key European and national women decision makers met in Brussels on 16th September at the invitation of the European Women’s Lobby for the launch event of the Campaign “50/50 No Modern European Democracy without Gender Equality”.

During the event, Bibiana Aido, Spanish Minister for Equality stressed the need to correct structural inequalities between women and men: “We have to take into account that we come from different places: men have been socialised to take power, but women have been socialised not to take power!”

Asked whether more women in politics would make a difference, MEP Zita Gurmai (Hungary) answered: “Of course! I strongly believe that gender balance could make a difference, including in the type of politics and the subjects that are tackled, as men and women have complementary qualities in approaching subjects.”

Speakers also discussed what they intended to do to change the situation. Emma Bonino, Vice President of the Italian Senate stated: “I don’t think there is any miracle solution, but we need to start with political parties, challenge them and go vocal before they make their lists for the European elections”. Continue reading

Brussels 16th September: Launch of the EWL 50/50 Campaign

“No modern European democracy without gender equality” was the message of the high level personalities who gathered in Brussels on 16 September 2008 to launch the European Women’s Lobby’s (EWL) “50/50 Campaign for Democracy”. The Campaign aims to increase the presence of women at the highest level of European politics and to encourage women to cast their votes in the next European elections, and is personally endorsed by European Commission Vice-President Margot Wallström. A website is dedicated to the cause, and the launch will be followed by activities throughout Europe.

“A representative democracy without gender equality is a contradiction in terms. Women and men need to be equally represented in European politics, in order to have a say on decisions that affect their lives. It is a question of listening and attending to the needs of all persons living in Europe; it is a question of democracy”, said Commissioner Wallström.

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