2010-01-28, Brussels - The EP's Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality hosted a hearing on the new EU strategy for gender equality. In her speech Lívia Járóka (European People's Party - EPP) the Vice-Chair of the committee drew the attention to multiple discrimination and to the harmful economic effects of disparities among women and men.
Romani women are the most vulnerable
“On the one hand the low-quality implementation of equality-related directives needs to be improved, while on the other hand antidiscrimination legislation itself is not sufficient to tackle the complex and deep-rooted patterns of inequality” – underlined Lívia Járóka who is the shadow-rapporteur of the EP’s report on the new strategy. The MEP expressed her hope that the new strategy would place proper emphasis on combating multiple discrimination, given that women from ethnic minorities and especially Romani women encounter much different experiences than men from the same ethnic group or women from the majority. She also pointed out the extremely vulnerable situation of Romani women in … Speaking of the challenges of the new strategy, Járóka underlined that inadequate investment in economic and social opportunities of women limited economic growth and slowed the reduction of poverty and disparities in education, employment and access to health care were not merely unfair but made for a bad economy. The MEP quoted the latest survey of EUROSTAT, according to which 16% of EU citizens are directly affected by poverty and when it comes to elderly poverty, the gender gap is 22%.
Professor Sylvia Walby, the UNESCO Chair in Gender Research pointed out in her speech that the human rights related aspects of gender equality were not as much institutionalized as the principle of equal treatment in employment, even though the application of this aspect necessary in such fields as combating violence against women. Professor Giovanna Da Molin from the University of Bari drew the attention to the situation of single mothers, as well as elderly and immigrant women who are most threatened by poverty and social exclusion in modern society.
In 2006 the European Commission launched its roadmap for equality between women and men aiming to foster economic independence and better reconciliation between work and family life as well as to diminish the pay gap among men and women and violence against women. Belinda Pyke, director of the EC’s DG Employment promised to present the draft for the new strategy in July 2010, which after consulting the EP and the stakeholders might be launched in early 2011 during the Hungarian Presidency.