PES gender equality ministers: CSW66 and French Presidency must be catalysts for women’s rights

PES gender equality ministers: CSW66 and French Presidency must be catalysts for women’s rights

The 66th edition of the UN’s Commission on the Status of Women (CSW66) and important upcoming European Commission proposals were on the agenda as progressive ministers and secretaries of state for gender equality met with EU Commissioner for Equality Helena Dalli and Vice-President of the S&D Group in the European Parliament Helene Fritzon.

Next week, the Commission is expected to come forward with a Directive on combatting violence against women and domestic violence– a key priority for the PES political family.

EU Commissioner Helena Dalli said:

“The urgency to address the increase in gender-based violence has never been greater. The upcoming proposal for an EU law on combatting violence against women and domestic violence is intended to deliver an EU-wide minimum level of comprehensive measures to address such violence and enhance gender equality. The proposal will cover violence prevention, protection and support of victims, prosecution of perpetrators and coordination and cooperation among authorities.”

Positive movement is also anticipated on two other important files – the Directive on pay transparency and the Directive on women on boards – following the new SPD-led administration’s decision to reverse the German government’s 10-year-long objection to the proposals. Meeting participants affirmed their continued drive to make progress on delivering the directives under the current presidency.

President of PES Women, Zita Gurmai said:

“In the coming months, after two years of a pandemic that has exposed and aggravated inequalities for women, the EU has some golden opportunities to achieve real progress. At CSW66 we must push to ensure there is a strong gender perspective on national and international action for the climate. The climate emergency and gender inequality are undeniably linked, and we will never completely solve one without also addressing the other.

In Europe, we are closer than ever to achieving breakthroughs on combating violence against women, pay transparency and more women in decision-making positions. We must achieve these as the foundation for a fair recovery from health and economic crisis for women. This must be at the very top of the EU’s agenda.”

The UN CSW66 marks a special occasion to raise awareness on the intersectional links between women’s rights and climate action, which is something we need to address at EU and worldwide level. At the UN, it is important that the EU speaks with a united voice pushing for progressive climate action with women and social justice at the centre. Commitments in words must be followed with actions.

In light of the current war in Ukraine, the participants of the meeting underlined the importance of reinstalling peace and to offer humanitarian corridors for those affected, in the country and fleeing to neighboured regions. Women and children must be a top priority given their particular vulnerability and higher risk of human trafficking, sexual violence and poverty amongst many other consequences.  



  • Zita Gurmai, PES Women President (Hungary)
  • Helena Dalli, European Commissioner for Equality (Malta)
  • Owen Bonnici, Minister for Equality (Malta)
  • Rosa Monteiro, State Secretary for Citizenship and Equality (Portugal)
  • Vesa Vuorenkoski, State Secretary for European Affairs and Ownership Steering (Finland)
  • Helene Fritzon, S&D Group Vice-President (Sweden)