= Equinet News
: Equinet and the Gender Equality and Equal Treatment Commissioner of Estonia hosted a seminar on Work-Life Balance and Pregnancy related Discrimination
in Tallinn. The Seminar gathered over 50 representatives of equality bodies from across Europe with the aim of exchanging knowledge and good practices related to the issues of reconciliation between the professional and private sphere.
Equinet hosted the conference ’Charting the Charter: Equality bodies and fundamental rights in the EU
’ to facilitate exchange between equality bodies and national and European stakeholders on the role and importance of the Charter in safeguarding fundamental rights, ensuring equality and combating discrimination.
- Research carried out by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (UK-Great Britain) suggests that around 54,000 new mothers may be forced out of their jobs in Britain each year. The Report on Pregnancy and Maternity-related Discrimination and Disadvantage, based on a survey of over 3,200 women, shows that 11% of the women interviewed reported having been dismissed, made compulsorily redundant where others in their workplace were not, or treated so poorly they felt they had to leave their jobs. Read more here.
- According to a poll carried out by the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission, the Marriage Equality Referendum has positively changed the perception of Ireland as a leader in Europe on human rights and equality. Concerns remain however regarding the equality of the health care system and how minorities in Ireland are treated. Read more here.
- 01/07/2015: The draft of the new Maternity Leave Directive was withdrawn by the EC due to lack of progress in the European Council. The Commission announced that it will continue to work on a new initiative that will promote the objectives of the previous proposal and will be formed through public consultation with stakeholders.
- 22/06/2015: The EC published its replies to the list of issues addressed by the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The replies prepared by the EU will serve as a basis for the dialogue between the EU and the UN Committee (27-28 August 2015, Geneva) in the context of the review of the implementation of the UN Convention for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities by the EU.
- 19/06/2015: The EC communicated its reply to the European Parliament regarding the question on clear standards for equality bodies. The question was addressed to the Commission by MEPs Jean Lambert (UK) and Ulricke Lunacek (Austria) in April 2015 and it put forward the issue of legally binding standards for the independence and effectiveness of Member States’ equality bodies.
- 16/06/2015: The First Vice-President of the EC Frans Timmermans hosted the 2015 annual high-level meeting with religious leaders, which gathered 15 religious leaders from Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist and Mormon communities. The conclusions of the high-level meeting will feed into the first Annual Colloquium on Fundamental Rights in the EU on “Tolerance and respect: preventing and combating anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim hatred in Europe”, to take place in October 2015. Additionally, Frans Timmermans and Věra Jourová, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality published a statement recalling the role and efforts of the EU in combating anti-Semitism, hate speech and hate crime.
- 27/07/2015: EP has adopted a written declaration on accessible tourism. The Declaration, that was signed by over 380 Members of the Parliament, urges the European Commission to raise awareness among stakeholders and economic operators to increase accessibility of touristic services in order to respect the equal rights to mobility, leisure, transport and information. Find the article of the European Disability Forum here.
- 15/07/2015: The Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM) has adopted an opinion on the EU Strategic Framework on Health and Safety at Work 2014-2020 that underlines the importance of the gender perspective within health and safety at work.
- 26/06/2015: The EP Report on the mandate for the trilogue on the 2016 draft budget emphasises that the 2016 budget should provide adequate support for the promotion of social inclusion and for actions aimed at eradicating poverty and empowering people experiencing poverty and social exclusion; recalls that the issue of gender equality should be incorporated into EU policies and addressed in the budgetary process; urges that financial support be provided for all programmes supporting job creation and social inclusion for those with multiple disadvantages, such as the long-term unemployed, people with disabilities, people from minority backgrounds, and inactive and discouraged people. This builds on the Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM) Opinion to the Committee on Budgets from 16 June.
- 25/06/2015: The EP Report on the application of Directive 2006/54/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 July 2006 on the implementation of the principle of equal opportunities and equal treatment of men and women in matters of employment and occupation highlights equality bodies regularly. In particular, it points out that "equality bodies should have the competences and adequate resources and personnel to monitor and report effectively and independently on the legislation which promotes equality between women and men". It also "stresses that the independence of equality bodies needs to be ensured in all Member States, and that the precise institutional form of these bodies is the responsibility of the Member States”.
- 23/06/2015: Report by the EP on empowering girls through education highlights the importance of education to improve gender equality and the importance of gender equality within education.
European Institute for Gender Equality
- EIGE has published its Gender Equality Index 2015. This Index assesses the level of gender equality for 2005, 2010 and 2012, for the first time allowing for an assessment of the progress made in the pursuit of gender equality in the European Union and individual Member States over time. The results show that there have been visible, albeit marginal, improvements between 2005 and 2012 in the domains covered by the Gender Equality Index.
- A Policy Review on the Reconciliation of work, family and private life in the EU has been published as part of EIGE’s ‘Collection of good practices in the area of reconciliation of work, family and private life in EU Member States’ study.
- Inclusion Europe, the European Association of Societies of Persons with Intellectual Disabilities and their Families, has published a submission to the General Comment on Article 6 (Women with disabilities) of the UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). Inclusion Europe stressed that the General Comment should put more emphasis on special situation of women with different types of disabilities, especially in relation to their right to family and home (Article 23 of the CRPD), right to health (Article 25 of the CRPD) and sexual and reproductive rights.