The European Parliament held a debate on the new EU Roadmap for gender equality. In her speech Lívia Járóka MEP, vice-chair of the EP's Women's Rights and Gender Equality Committee and shadow-rapporteur of the new Roadmap urged the economic empowerment of women as well as combating multiple discrimination.
Lívia Járóka (European People’s Party, Hungarian Civic Union) said that despite the undeniable achievements of the EU’s gender equality policies in the last half of a century, there was still a lot to accomplish in assuring equality between women and men and that the ambitious goals of the 2006-2010 EU Roadmap – economic independence, reconciliation of private and professional life, equal representation, eradication of violence, elimination of stereotypes, and the promotion of gender equality in external policies – thus need to be further pursued. Járóka emphasized that in fulfilling the aims of the old and defining the new objectives of the Roadmap, the European Commission needed to introduce specific measures assuring that the strengths of the existing roadmap could be further developed and the weaknesses overcome, as well as to visibly influence national and regional level instruments achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment. “Although it is still difficult to assess the full impact of the financial crisis, it is clear that the current economic and social crisis is having particularly serious consequences for women it is necessary therefore to take into account that inadequate investment in economic and social opportunities of women limits economic growth and slows the reduction of poverty and social disparities” – she said. According to Járóka the new Roadmap should also place proper emphasis on combating multiple discrimination, since compound discrimination based on age, disability, ethnic or racial background, religion, national origin, and socio-economic status creates multiple barriers to women’s empowerment and social advancement. “For the fulfilment of the aforementioned goals it is also essential to collect, process and publish gender disaggregated data which is the primary tool for achieving real progress and effectively evaluating policy outcomes” – Járóka added.