EWLA General Assembly
Equal Participation of Women in EU Political Decision-Making
4 June 2010
The General Assembly of the European Women Lawyers Association (EWLA), held in Brussels on 4 June, 2010, adopted the following resolution on
Resolution on Equal Participation of Women in EU Decision-Making
- the principle of substantive equality between men and women is one of the constitutional principles upon which the European Union is built and a positive obligation of its institutions and Member States, as proclaimed by Articles 2(1)and 3(3) TEU and 8 TFEU;
- the principle of substantive equality between men and women is reaffirmed by Article 23 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, which has become legally binding through the Treaty of Lisbon;
- the principle of substantive equality between men and women is also enshrined in Articles 3 and 4 of the UN Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), which binds all EU Member States and is a source of fundamental rights to be respected by the EU as well; and that, moreover, Articles 7 and 8 CEDAW expressly oblige them to ensure women’s equal participation in the political and public life, and in the representation of their governments at the international level;
- in addition to being a common constitutional principle of the EU Member States and hence a fundamental value of the EU, substantive gender equality also contributes to a more just, more inclusive, and more diverse society;
- the principle of substantive equality between men and women imposes on the EU and its Member States an obligation to adopt a pro-active approach and to take measures to actively promote gender equality.
- the political commitment expressed by the European Council and the European Commission towards women’s equal participation in political decision-making as expressed in
- the Gender Equality Pact proclaimed by the European Council 23/34 March 2006 that calls for measures to promote women’s participation in decision-making at all political levels;
- the Women’s Charter proclaimed by the European Commission on 5 March 2010 stating that women still lack full access to the sharing of power and decision-making, and affirming the Commission’s commitment for a fairer representation of women and men in positions of power in public life;
- the announcement of the upcoming Belgian Presidency to make use of the linkage between the Gender Equality Pact of the European Council and The Women’s Charter of the European Commission.
Therefore, EWLA calls upon the EU Member States, European Commission and the European Parliament
- To develop sustainable measures in order to reach balanced representation of women and men in all EU decision-making bodies by European and national legislation or inter-institutional agreements, as appropriate;
in this context, EWLA reiterates its suggestions made in 2009;
- To integrate quantified targets for a balanced participation of women in decision-making into the EU 2020 strategy, and to include concrete steps in his regard in the Council conclusion in the second half of 2010;
- To put special emphasis, in the Roadmap for Gender Equality for 2010-2014, on balanced participation of women and men in decision-making.