EU Called to Include Gender Promotion in all Policies

The European Parliament's Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Committee (FEMM) discussed last week the draft opinion report on “EU external policies in favour of democratisation”, that calls to put gender equality at the heart of all Community policies, programmes and projects at EU level as well as towards third countries.


Papadopoulou Antigoni (S&D, Cyprus), Rapporteur of the European Parliament's Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Committee (FEMM), informed on 20 April about a report that calls on the EU to shift its external policies away from security and stability objectives towards an increased focus on the application of human rights and democratic provisions of international agreements.

The initiative was led on behalf of the Human Rights sub-committee (DROI) by AFET Rapporteur Véronique De Keyser (S&D, Belgium), presented on 14 April in a joint meeting with the Development and Foreign Affairs committees.


In this context, the FEMM opinion stresses the EU member states’ responsibilities in “mainstreaming and reinforcing gender equality issues”. Moreover, member states and the European Commission have the duty to ensure that gender equality is systematically assessed and evaluated, Antigoni continues.

Women empowerment and their active participation in decision-making structures is another aspect covered by the opinion. During the meeting on 20 April, MEP Rovana Plumb (S&D, Romania) acknowledged the topical nature of this issue by recalling that in countries such as Tunisia and Egypt, women have successfully fought along-side men for freedom and democracy. 

Moreover, Plumb stressed that those same women are now continuing their fight in strengthening gender equality and empowerment in their own countries. She has therefore urged the EU to enhance the role of women in areas of peace, security and international trade.

The AFET report is due to be voted in committee on 6 June as well as in the EP Plenary in July. The next exchange of views on this report shall take place in the DROI sub-committee on 2 May.

Sources: Eurostep (Based on European Parliament documents)