About PES Women

PES Women is the women’s organisation of the Party of European Socialists (PES) promoting gender equality and women’s rights both inside and outside the party.

PES Women is made up of representatives from all 32 PES member parties and has its own political structure and resources with an executive bureau, which is made up of its members, the President and four Vice-Presidents, each representing a different region in Europe.

PES Women is fighting for a gender just and feminist Europe by giving a voice, tools and platform for women, by putting forward specific women’s rights policies, through gender-mainstreaming the overall policy-making of the Social Democratic family and by ensuring equal representation in the PES bodies, member parties and organisations.

We believe that women’s rights and gender equality go beyond borders. While women around the world experience different challenges that are particular to their context, there are also common challenges of representation, participation and guaranteeing fundamental rights and freedoms for women. We show solidarity and cooperate closely with progressive advocates for women’s rights all over Europe and around the world, to put gender equality at the top of the political agenda and to strengthen the global feminist movement.

Our priorities

  • Combatting gender-based violence

    Gender-based violence (GBV) is the most extreme expression of unequal gender relations in society. Over half of women are experiencing sexual harassment and 1 in 3 women in the EU has been a victim of physical and/or sexual violence.

    Gender-based violence is a global public health issue and a structural phenomenon that transcends social, economic or national boundaries. It represents a major obstacle for the achievement of gender equality and sustainable development, posing a serious threat to democratic development. It is a serious violation of human rights and remains widely unsanctioned. Combatting any form of  GBV should not lay on the shoulders of women, instead, institutions, policies and judicial systems must be strengthened and held responsible.

  • Closing the gender gaps through a feminist economy

    The EU-wide gaps in employment and the persistent gender pay and pension gaps between women and men can only be tackled if we create just conditions for women on the labour market on equal terms with men, thus breaking barriers for women, such as systemic discrimination and gender-based violence, gender segregation, motherhood and tax penalties.

    There is a need to re-think the global economic and financial system to achieve equal human rights for all. A fair and feminist economy can be shaped through progressive taxation, gender budgeting, corporate accountability, progressive public services, social protection, fair work-life-balance, the recognition and distribution of unpaid care work, sustainable infrastructure and decent work.

  • Access to the fundamental rights

    Next to economic rights such as equal pay, employment and decent work for all women in Europe, it is necessary to ensure women’s political rights. This can only be guaranteed by providing equal access and participation in decision-making and by creating gender-responsive institutions which apply gender-mainstreaming and a holistic approach to their work.

    All over the world, women are discriminated against and arrested, simply for making choices about their bodies and lives. The principle ‘My body my rights’ must be guaranteed by providing legal information, education and accessible health care that is equal for all women across Europe, including the full range of sexual and reproductive health and rights.

  • All rights for all women

    Gender equality is not just a woman’s issue, but for the benefit of everyone, breaking down patriarchal pillars and power structures in our societies. Policies and legislations need to be intersectional and thus tailored to the different circumstances and requirements of people, so that equality is the ultimate goal. The aim must be to improve all rights for all women, and not just the privileged ones. This means paying attention and considering the challenges of those who have special requirements, who represent multiple minorities, or who face multiple disadvantages.

Back row, pictured left to right: FEPS Policy Analyst Laeticia Thissen, PES Women President Zita Gurmai, PES Women Vice President Elke Ferner, and Vice-President of the European Parliament Evelyn Regner. Front row, picture left to right: Member of the Cabinet of European Commissioner Helena Dalli, Lesia Radelicki, Co-founder of Digital Ladies & Allies, France, Louisa Renoux, SPI CGIL Head of International Department Silvana Cappuccio, and Wipro Global Chief Privacy Officer and Co-founder of Women Leading in AI, Ivana Bartoletti.

PES Women at CSW67 – Ensuring Gender Equality in Digitalisation

From 6 – 10 March, PES Women was in New York for the 67th Commission on the Status of Women. Each year PES Women seizes…

Gender Equality, Feminism, Diversity
PES Executive Vice President Katarina Barley (fifth from right), President of PES Women Zita Gurmai (sixth from right), and other members of the PES Women Statutory Board, alongside President of the PES Group in the European Committee of the Regions Christophe Rouillon, during the PES Women meeting in Valencia, Spain

PES Women call for cities and regions to be safe spaces for women

On 2 March, PES Women Statutory Board members met ahead of International Women’s Day to discuss local, national and EU for combating gender-based violence with…

European Socialists call upon cities and regions to declare themselves a #SafePlace4Women

European Socialists call upon cities and regions to declare themselves a #SafePlace4Women

Ahead of International Women’s Day, the PES Group in the European Committee of the Regions together with PES Women is launching today a Europe-wide campaign…

Gender Equality, Feminism, Diversity
PES Executive Vice President Katarina Barley, President of PES Women Zita Gurmai, President of the Young European Socialists Alicia Homs and other participants at the #ProgressivesSpeakUp event in Valencia, Spain

PES family together in Valencia to fight for gender equality

Progressive politicians from every level – European, national, regional and local – gather today with young socialists, women’s campaigners and progressive thinkers to push for…

Gender Equality, Feminism, Diversity
PES Women Executive members exchanging with S&D MEP Evin Incir

PES Women: less impunity, more justice for women’s rights violations

EU leaders and politicians globally must step up the fight for safeguarding women’s rights, the PES Women Executive demanded as it met online for its…

Gender Equality, Feminism, Diversity
Members of the PES Women Executive meeting by videoconference, 9 December 2022

PES Women: to protect women’s rights we must defend human rights defenders

Today, on International Human Rights Defenders Day (9 December) – and ahead of International Human Rights Day tomorrow (10 December) – PES Women’s message is…

Gender Equality, Feminism, Diversity
Photography by Ukrainian Photographer Liana @liart.ph

PES Women: we demand zero-tolerance for gender-based violence. The line has been crossed.

PES Women relaunches campaign to end violence against women and make Europe a zero-tolerance zone for gender-based violence. On International Day for the Elimination of…

Gender Equality, Feminism, Diversity
EU Unequal Pay Day – a symbolic day with real life implications

EU Unequal Pay Day – a symbolic day with real life implications

Equal pay for women and men is still not a reality in Europe. This is why the women’s organization of the Party of European Socialists,…

Gender Equality, Feminism, Diversity
Your skills are transferable – gender pay gap campaign invites men to do their fair share of housework and care

Your skills are transferable – gender pay gap campaign invites men to do their fair share of housework and care

A celebration of men applying their skills inside the home – this is the reality depicted in a new campaign raising awareness of the gender pay gap in Europe.

Gender Equality, Feminism, Diversity


More documents
  • Accelerating gender equality for a truly feminist and equal Europe

    Declaration by PES Gender Equality Ministers
    View document July 8, 2020
  • ‘European progressives together against gender-based violence’

    Adopted by the PES Presidency on 3/12/2020
    View document December 3, 2020
  • Adopted PES Women Statement for a feminist Europe 2019-2024

    In the framework of PES Campaign for a feminist Europe, PES Women presented their Statement to European decision-makers, calling to put gender equality into practice…
    View document June 21, 2019
  • For a Europe of gender equality and empowered women, Congress Resolution

    The Lisbon Resolution resumes the women’s situation of the last two years in the world, where they globally stood up to claim their rights and…
    Other languages: fr de es pt
    View document December 7, 2018

PES Women member organisations

Ex-officio member organisations