PES Women – there is only one way forward – make gender equality a top priority in 2022!
Today PES Women Statutory members met online for their final meeting of 2021. On the agenda: a summary of the year and looking ahead to 2022.
Meeting in the same week as the Conference on the Future of Europe and the European Council, the members agreed that positioning gender equality more firmly on the EU agenda is a necessary step towards creating a future Europe that is just, social and progressive for all. Gender equality must not be treated as optional but has to be fully mainstreamed across all policy areas, the Statutory agreed. The discussion touched on the upcoming PES Council welcoming the strong gender equality demands in the accompanying resolution, expected to be adopted tomorrow.
Among the demands for structural change made by PES Women in 2021 were calls to better include gender equality as a key consideration in post pandemic recovery and resilience plans since the pandemic has shown the gaps between women and men and made them even wider; for the EU to become a zero-tolerance zone for gender-based violence; to strengthen the link between women’s rights, rule of law and democracy, specifically in dealings with countries like Poland, Hungary, Belarus and Afghanistan; and, for the European Council to create a formal Council configuration for gender equality, diversity and anti-discrimination.
PES Women President Zita Gurmai said:
“In 2021, PES Women worked across a number of thematic areas, from combatting gender-based violence, to improving women’s access to fundamental rights and in decision-making and creating a feminist economy. However, gender equality must be seen as a precondition for achieving a just recovery post pandemic and a stronger economy for Europe with wellbeing and decent jobs at the centre. It is also intertwined with other fundamental European values, such as democracy and rule of law. No initiative in any area of European politics is complete without considering how it impacts women from all walks of life. PES Women has made this very clear in the past year. Notably, we reiterated this in a PES Presidency declaration adopted in June in which we called for European democracies with feminist values at heart. We will keep fighting for progress in these areas moving forward in 2022.
“Our political family is leading the way into that socially just and feminist future. We are progressing on equal representation by having more women and feminist party leaders, prime minister, commissioners, MEPs, MPs, mayors and other democratic representatives than ever before. Over the years, our policies have also shown us to be a strong defender of women’s rights and the leading force for progressive gender equality politics in Europe and beyond. Going ahead into 2022, PES Women will continue to fight to further improve this picture and to strengthen women’s diverse voice both inside our own parties and in European governance generally.”
It was also stated in the Statutory meeting that in 2022, PES Women will continue the fight for women’s rights and gender equality across several thematic areas, focusing especially on combatting gender-based violence; protecting and strengthening sexual and reproductive health and rights; closing gender gaps through a feminist economy; boosting women’s political empowerment; strengthening the global feminist movement, and intersectionally defending all rights to all women.