Post by Daphnée Leportois on 50/50 Campaign event in Brussels on 13 March: “Où sont les femmes en politique ?”

Daphnée Leportois has made the following post on the 50/50 Campaign event that took place on 13 March in Brussels, Belgium:

Conférence – “Elections européennes et régionales : où sont les femmes ?”

Vendredi 13 mars a eu lieu au Résidence Palace une conférence suivie d’un débat sur le thème de la parité en politique.

Organisée par le Mouvement Européen-Belgique, le Conseil des Femmes Francophones de Belgique (CFFB), le Nederlandstalige Vrouwenraad et la Représentation de la Commission européenne en Belgique, le but de cet évènement est de « sensibiliser à l’importance du scrutin européen et surtout à l’importance des femmes dans ce scrutin » selon les termes de Magdeleine Willame-Boonen, présidente du CFFB. En effet, Mme Willame a voulu dire « à quel point le débat de la parité homme-femme est un débat important » et ce, malgré sa réticence originelle aux quotas, mesure qu’elle trouvait « injurieu[se] » au début de sa carrière politique, mais qu’elle a fini par considérer comme un premier pas pour atteindre cette parité.”

To read the whole post in French, please click here.


Article on the 2009 elections: “Poll backs more women in politics but not quotas: Tell us your views”

An article published today 11 March 2009 at the European Parliament’s news headlines discusses a “Europe-wide poll that shows over two thirds of those asked believe politics is male dominated. However, only one in ten thought quotas a good idea.” To read the whole article click here and for more information on how to participate in the discussion go here.

European Commission’s Debate Forum on Women and Politics running between 5 March until 25 March

On the occasion of the International Women’s day 2009 and linked to the incoming European elections, Vice-President of the European Commission Margot Wallström has launched a debate about “Women and Politics” on the Commission’s web forum “Debate Europe”.

This debate will run from 5 March until 25 March.

Joining the forum will permit you to debate on-line about issues like:
– Is there a difference of style between men and women in political decision-making?
– Are women under-represented in European and national politics?
– How can gender equality be improved at the European, national, regional and local level? How do you see the situation in your country?
– How we can encourage more people to vote?

Instructions on how to join the forum:
1. Go to the “Debate Europe” website
2. Click on the “join the forum” on the left-hand side
3. Register at the top right of the page
4. Fill out the registration form
5 You will receive an e-mail confirmation, click on the link in the mail to activate your account
6. In the registration form you determined your own login and password
7. You can now participate in the debate
For any practical help you can mail to COMM-Web: COMM-WEB[at]

Eurobarometer on women and EP elections: politics still a male dominated world

“Most women want the next European Parliament to guarantee equal pay for equal work, promote day care facilities for children, include child-minding years as pensionable years and combat violence towards women, according to a Eurobarometer Flash survey presented in the EP on Wednesday on opinions and expectations of European elections. The poll shows significant variations among countries, but a common view is that European politics is a male-dominated world”
For the whole Eurobarometer press release on women and elections, please visit here.

iKNOW Politics Experts Workshop on Women in Politics: Overcoming Barriers to Participation

The International Knowledge Network of Women in Politics (iKNOW Politics) held a two-day workshop on “Women in Politics: Overcoming Barriers to Participation” in Oslo, Norway. The workshop brought together over 30 women politicians, activists and development sector practitioners, including two iKNOW Politics Experts from each region of the world. The workshop was also attended by the representatives of the Norwegian civil society and Norwegian government officials.

The topics of each panel and roundtable discussion at the workshop reflected existing barriers to women’s political participation. In this workshop, iKNOW Politics staff highlighted the barriers that were identified by iKNOW Politics members and experts in discussion circles and forums on the website. Some of the most frequently cited barriers included: lack of money, lack of time, political party structures and exclusion from existing informal political networks.

To read the full iKNOW report click here.

European Parliament discusses its own election procedure, EWL will lobby for a parity clause

The Constitutional Affairs Committee of the European Parliament is at the moment discussing a suggestion to modify the procedures for the election of the members of the European Parliament for the elections of 2014. The aim is to harmonize the way MEPs are elected in different member states.

The EWL sees the report as an opportunity to introduce an article on the equal representation of women and men into the rules governing the election of the European Parliament.

Some of the key ideas of the report are to insist on preferential voting in all member states in order to let the voters rather than the political parties decide the order of candidates, and to introduce an EU-wide list in addition to the national ones.

The report as it stands now is relatively poor in terms of gender equality. Although gender balance is mentioned as a question needing to be solved, the only concrete suggestion is to introduce gender balance to the EU-wide list, which would only cover for 10% of the seats.

You can read the draft report here.

Series of national events with the presence of Margot Wallström

The national coordinations of the European Women’s Lobby are organising together with the representations of the European Commission a series of events in the framework of the 50/50 Campaign. The Vice-President of the European Commission Margot Wallström who has supported the 50/50 Campaign since the beginning participates in the events.

The latest event took place in Madrid on 2nd December. Apart from Commissioner Wallström, the speakers included important figures from the fields of politics, business, arts, sciences and the civil society, such as the Minister for Equality Bibiana Aido, the President fo the Equality Commission of the Congress Carmen Calvo, actor Joaquim Climent, and Maria Garaña, President of Microsoft. See the agenda

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