The European Parliament defends the principle of gender equality and, before the European elections, draws attention to the need for women to take part in politics.
Despite the progress made, women are far less represented than men among Parliament’s deputies. At present, their share is about 36% of all MPs. Check out our video to learn how things have changed and how much time to go – https://multimedia.europarl.europa.eu/en/women-in-politics-international-women-s-day-2019_N01- PUB-190304-IWD_ev
Before the first direct elections to the European Parliament, the presence of women among MEPs was minimal. Only 31 women have been members of the Parliament since 1952 until the first elections in 1979.
After 1979, the number of women began to grow. Significantly, the famous feminist Simone Vale became the first president of the directly elected Parliament.
“The power of women in politics determines their ability to participate and make decisions about the collective management of our societies. We must continue the struggle, “says Vilia Blinkeviuchte (S & D, Lithuania), Chair of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality.
Parliament’s work on gender balance in politics
The European Parliament has been supporting for many years equality between men and women. This principle is reflected in Article 119 of the Treaty of Rome, adopted in 1957 (now Article 157), which states that men and women should receive equal pay for equal work.
In a report adopted in January 2019, Parliament stressed the importance of increasing the presence on the electoral roll of persons of the less well represented gender, often women. In addition, MEPs urged political parties to ensure a balance between men and women in the run-up to the 2019 European elections.
Also during this term, Parliament called for better protection of women from sexual harassment in politics and insisted on clear policies and procedures for protection.
In 2012, MEPs welcomed the measures in some countries for gender balance in policy, including parity systems or quotas in this area.
Earlier, in 2001, Parliament stated in a resolution that women’s involvement in the decision-making process strengthens democracy and is a prerequisite for taking into account the interests and problems of women.