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= Front-page

Equinet opens registrations for its upcoming seminar on gender equality

On Thursday 24 April 2014, Equinet organises a seminar in Brussels bringing together representatives of equality bodies, national and European stakeholders and experts, for an open and constructive dialogue on the implementation of the principle of equal treatment between men and women in the access to and supply of goods and services.

The seminar is aimed at senior management and experts of national equality bodies, representatives of EU institutions and agencies, other international organisations, national and European NGOs, academic and legal experts, social partners and other institutions active in the field of gender equality.

This High Level Seminar aims at sharing with EU level stakeholders experiences and expertise coming from equality bodies’ work on the application of the Directive 2004/113/EC implementing the principle of equal treatment between men and women in the access to and supply of goods and services. It also aims at providing equality bodies with an overview and a platform for dialogue on EU developments concerning the fight against gender inequalities.

The Seminar strives to:

  • Allow an exchange between equality bodies, EU institutions and stakeholders on how to best cooperate for the promotion of gender equality in the access to and supply of goods and services.
  • Present equality bodies’ experiences in the implementation of the Goods and Services Directive 2004/113/EC.
  • Provide a platform for discussion on key priorities, best practices and possible future developments at EU and national level.
  • Position Equinet and national equality bodies’ work in the field of gender equality at EU level
Access the webpage of the event ( for more information about the agenda and registration process.

Please bear in mind that the deadline for online registration is 4 April 2014.

World’s largest survey on violence against women launched

The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) launched the report entitled Violence against women: an EU-wide survey, containing findings from interviews with 42,000 women across all 28 EU Member States. Equinet strongly welcomes the report, which will inform its own 2014 "ad-hoc equality bodies' networking initiative on violence against women".
The survey findings demonstrate that violence against women is an extensive human rights abuse that must be combated with all possible means. As the report shows, a wide variety of groups need to act, from employers through health professionals to internet service providers. FRA also makes a number of proposals to support policy makers in introducing and implementing measures to prevent and respond to violence against women.

= Our work

Equal Pay and the Experience of Equality Bodies
As part of our activities, experts from equality bodies have exchanged on good practices emerging from their work on equal pay. They considered such practices in the wider context of the legal framework within which they work, some barriers that they still face in their work on equal pay, and lessons learnt from their activity on the ground. The outcome of such exchanges is presented in this report with detailed information on the different activities to facilitate their reproduction in other contexts.

Equality bodies are mandated by EU gender equality legislation to ensure the promotion, analysis, monitoring and support of equal treatment of all persons without discrimination on the ground of sex in matters of employment and occupation. As part of their work, the practical implementation of the principle of equal pay for equal work and work of equal value is central. Their experience on the ground at national level confirms that, notwithstanding a long presence of the principle in EU and national legislation, equal pay in practice is still to be achieved.

To download, order, and read more about the paper's conclusions and reccommendations, visit our website.
Croatian Deputy Ombudswoman becomes new Moderator of Equinet's Working Group on Policy Formation

Ms. Tena Šimonović Einwalter was elected by the Croatian Parliament in her current position on 15 July 2013. She is in her second term as member of the Equinet Executive Board, has over five years experience of coordinating all non-discrimination related activities within her equality body, and is an expert in the field of non-discrimination law (Croatian/EU/International)
The working group Policy Formation is Equinet’s primary platform enabling a constructive dialogue with EU institutions; a dialogue that supports policy formation at EU level to effectively promote equality, value diversity and tackle discrimination. The working group supports the dialogue between Equinet and the EU institutions through the preparation of Equinet perspectives. These perspectives seek to inform current policy development within the EU institutions in the area of equality and non-discrimination and to contribute an equality dimension to policy being developed on other issues. Equinet perspectives are fact-based, developed from the work and experience of national equality bodies at Member State level.

= Snippets

  • The European Commission (EC) adopted a new framework for addressing systemic threats to the rule of law in any of the EU's 28 Member States
  • The Council of Europe and the EC will support local authorities' Roma inclusion actions (more information here; also check the website of the European Alliance of Cities and Regions for Roma Inclusion)
  • The EC adopted a Recommendation asking Member States to improve pay transparency for women and men in a bid to help close the gender pay gap (details here)
  • On February 13 the LIBE Committee of the European Parliament presented its complementary impact assessment of the proposed horizontal Directive on Equal Treatment on the implementation of the principle of equal treatment between persons (access it here)
  • The Court of Justice of the European Union, in its judgment in Cases C-167/12 C. D. v S.T. and C-363/12 Z. v A Government Department and the Board of Management of a Community School, held that "EU law does not require that a mother who has had a baby through a surrogacy agreement should be entitled to maternity leave or its equivalent. The Pregnant Workers Directive merely lays down certain minimum requirements in respect of protection, although the Member States are free to apply more favourable rules for the benefit of such mothers" (details here)
  • In Case C - 588/12 Lyreco Belgium NV v Sophie Rogiers, the Court held that "where a worker is unlawfully dismissed during part-time parental leave, the fixed-sum protective award to which a full-time worker is entitled must be calculated on the basis of full-time salary" (details here)
  • In another case, C-173/13 Maurice Leone and Blandine Leone v Garde des sceaux, Ministre de la Justice and Caisse nationale de retraite des agents des collectivités locales, the Advocate General’s Opinion stated that "male workers do not suffer discrimination as regards retirement merely because their female counterparts automatically satisfy, thanks to compulsory maternity leave, a legal condition relating to a break in their careers" (details here)
  • Finally, in Case C-595/12 Loredana Napoli v Ministero della Giustizia–Dipartimento dell’Amministrazione penitenziaria, the Court held that "the automatic exclusion of a female worker from a training course because she has taken compulsory maternity leave constitutes unfavourable treatment contrary to EU law. In such a case, the female worker might not be able to benefit in the same way as her colleagues from an improvement in working conditions. [...] The Court found that the relevant provisions of EU law are sufficiently clear, precise and unconditional to have direct effect, thus the national court has to give them priority over any conflicting provisions of national legislation" (details here)
  • The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in case of Abdu v. Bulgaria (application no. 26827/08), which is
    not final,
    held that "despite having plausible evidence that Mr Abdu had been attacked because of his ethnic origin, the authorities had not expressly questioned the witness or the perpetrators with a view to determining whether there had in fact been a racist motive for the attack. The Court reiterated that, in some circumstances, discrimination based on race could of itself amount to inhuman and degrading treatment. Therefore, the Court established a violation of Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment) of the European Convention on Human Rights, taken alone and in conjunction with Article 14 (prohibition of discrimination)."
  • The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) published two new reports on the fight in Belgium and Germany against racism, xenophobia, antisemitism, intolerance and discrimination on grounds such as “race”, national / ethnic origin, citizenship, colour, religion and language (racial discrimination)
  • Major European networks of equal treatment NGOs co-organised an event on 18 March in Brussels aimed at presenting different civil-society campaigns they currently run showing how they mobilise their members and target audience in the light of the 2014 European Parliament elections, and discussing with candidates MEP their plans to get in touch with citizens in their constituency (more information here)
AGE Platform Europe – Towards an Age-Friendly European Parliament
COFACE - #FamiliesVOTE2014
European Anti-Poverty Network - Electing Champions for a social Europe
European Disability Forum - Accessible European elections, Inclusive European Societies
European Network Against Racism (ENAR) - Vote for Diversity 
European Women’s Lobby - Act now for her future, commit to gender equality 
ILGA Europe - Come Out Campaign 
ILGA Europe / ENAR - #NoHateEP2014
AEGEE - Y Vote 2014
Eurochild - Child Rights Champions 
  • Registrations are open for the 4th Gender Summit, taking place in Brussels on 30 June - 1 July on the topic of "From Ideas to Markets: Excellence in mainstreaming gender into research, innovation, and policy"  (more information here)
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