On 1 February Soraya Rodríguez Ramos participated as speaker in the presentation of the Simone Veil Pact of Renew Europe at the European Parliament.
The Simone Veil Pact reflects the commitment of the political group Renew Europe to preserve, strengthen and harmonize the rights of all women at all levels — European, national and local — and in all areas. It is structured in five main blocks that belong to the areas where achieving gender equality is crucial: women’s sexual and reproductive rights, family life, the fight against gender-based violence, equality at work, and women’s participation in politics.
The event was attended by several MEPs, representatives of NGOs, and members of civil society. Stéphane Séjourné, President of Renew Europe, gave an opening speech, appealing to the need to continue working for gender equality from the European institutions.
Other MEPs from Renew Europe like Eva Maria Poptcheva, Vice-Chair of the Committee on Economic Affairs, Barry Andrews, Member of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality, and Sylvie Brunet, Member of the Committee on Employment and the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality, discussed the importance of ensuring equality between men and women in the workplace through binding rules on Member States such as the already adopted Pay Transparency Directive. In this regard, Soraya Rodríguez Ramos, referred to the fact that women earn on average in Europe 14 % less than men doing the same job.
At the second panel of the event, Katalin Cseh, Vice-Chair of Renew Europe, Karen Melchior, member of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality, Samira Rafaela, also a member of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality, and Soraya Rodríguez, stressed the need to ensure access to legal and safe abortion for all women on EU territory. Moreover, it was further recalled that a specific amendment to the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights to include the right to legal and safe abortion was tabled and adopted in a European Parliament resolution on the initiative of Renew Europe. “We have to send a clear message to 250 million Europeans: women’s rights, including the right to abortion, are fundamental rights,” said the Spanish MEP. Polish activist Justyna Wydrzynska participated in the panel to denounce the de facto ban on abortion in Poland and raise awareness of the work they do from her organization Abortion without Borders, through which they have helped more than 100,000 Polish people in the last two years with information on sexual and reproductive rights and how to access safe abortion.
The event also included Claire Van Berger, Member of the Women’s On Board of Directors and Senior Director of Deloitte, Annemie Drieskens, Chair of Coface Families Europe, Alexia Fafara of the European Women’s Lobby, and Caroline Hickson, European Director of the International Family Planning Federation.
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