The Great Debate UK

Women as agents of change in Europe – nothing less


image001- Brigitte Triems is president of the European Women’s Lobby, the largest non-governmental women’s organisation in the European Union, representing approximately 2000 organisations in 30 European Countries. Working with its members at national and European levels, the EWL’s main objective is to fight for gender equality and to ensure the integration of a gender perspective in all EU policy areas. The opinions expressed are her own. -

Some Europeans like to claim that we have achieved equality between women and men in Europe, and that the struggle for equality belongs to another, preferably faraway, region. Unfortunately there is little reality behind these claims.

Fresh figures show that the average gender pay gap in Europe is 17,4 percent and that women’s job security is more precarious than those of men.

Women are largely under-represented at decision-making levels both nationally and at a European level. Only 22 percent of the members of national parliaments are women in the EU, and of the seats in the European Parliament barely a third are filled by women.