Celebration of the International Women's Day 2009: "Women and European elections" with the participation of the Network NCEO/CCEC of National Parliaments and EP Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality
End production: 05/03/2009 First transmission: 05/03/2009
The International Women's Day celebrates the role of women in society, politics and the workplace. To mark the 2009 International Women's Day, events on gender issues and the forthcoming European elections were organised in the European Parliament in Brussels. The latest Eurobarometer poll on women's participation in the elections was also unveiled.
On 5 March 2009, Members of the EP in the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality debated with national Members of Parliaments and experts. The opening speech by Hans-Gert Pöttering, President of the EP, underlined the role of women in European politics in view of the next June European elections.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
|| Exterior view of the European Parliament building in Brussels
|| Cutaways of participants, conference documents, speakers table with Hans-Gert Pöttering, President of the EP, and Anna Záborská, Member of the EP, Chairwoman of the EP Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality (10 shots)
|| SOUNDBITE by Hans-Gert Pöttering (in GERMAN): the Lisbon Treaty and the principle of gender equality will rapidly come into force throughout European life on all fronts and I certainly believe that the due promotion of women and their full involvement in political life is particularly vital;
the conference will afford a very good opportunity for men and women to pull their experience and thoughts about women contribution to politics both as voters and as elected representatives of their fellow citizens.
|| SOUNDBITE by Margot Wallström, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Institutional Relations and Communication Strategy, (in ENGLISH): most of our societies do not reward motherhood; even well off countries such as Germany did not introduce maternity leave rights until binding EU rules obliged them to do so;
it is not up to the European institutions alone to raise awareness of the elections and to campaign for gender parity; I'm pleased to see representatives of national Parliaments with us; it up to each and every person present to encourage citizens to use their vote and to stand up for gender parity in Parliament, in the next Commission, and among the future EU top posts, if, as we hope, the new Treaty will be ratified.
|| SOUNDBITE by Vladimír Špidla, Member of the EC in charge of Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, (in CZECH): gender equality represents one of the EU fundamental values;
the necessary political decisions need to be taken, for example drawing up of laws which deal with underrepresentation of women in the political sphere; consequently, in political parties lists there needs to be more women represented than in the past; allow me to reaffirm that the European Commission is committed to achieving the goal of gender equality.
|| SOUNDBITE by Zita Gurmai, Member of the EP, (in ENGLISH): we have good examples like the government of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, Spanish Prime Minister; the Spanish Minister for Defence was pregnant when she got the position and she is doing an excellent job, so women can do it; I strongly believe in a parity society where we need women and men both together; and don't forget demographic challenges: why do we have less and less children?; because we were not able to understand the reconciliation between family and work; why do the Spanish live longer than the Hungarians?; it is very simple: because they learned about the reconciliation between family and work; 80% of the Danish women are on the labour market and they get the second most children, so here is the recipe; let's get a strategy, let's make it clear that we can do it together; it is good for families, for children and society.
|| Cutaways from the Chamber: participants, speakers table (8 shots)