Por Soraya Rodríguez Ramos

HomeEventsWomen in the European elections: why Gender Matters

Women in the European elections: why Gender Matters

On 6 March, Soraya Rodríguez, MEP from Ciudadanos participated in an event entitled ‘Women in the European elections: why Gender Matters’, on the progress made during the European legislature on women’s rights, as well as on the challenges to be addressed throughout the next term. In addition, this meeting was also intended to be a platform to boost women’s participation in European elections and to increase their participation in political life. 

The event was attended by several Vice-Presidents of the European Parliament such as Dimitrios Papadimoulis, Ewa Kopacz and Evelyn Regner who are also President, Vice-President and Member of the High Level Group on Gender Equality and Diversity respectively. Carlien Scheele, Director of the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE), was also present. 

“Gender equality not only benefits women, it benefits our societies. It makes us better societies. It makes us societies freer”, said Soraya Rodríguez during her speech, in which she also reviewed the achievements made by the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM) during this parliamentary term.

“The question that we have to ask ourselves at this point in the 21st century is how we have not managed to get men to understand perfectly that when we talk about gender inequality, a deficit of equality between citizens in advanced democracies, we are talking about a problem of lack of general democracy,” she said.

Among the achievements listed during her speech, Soraya mentioned the adoption of the Work-Family Life Balance Directive to improve family access to family leave and work flexibility; the Directive on gender balance on boards of listed companies in the European Union, or the Pay Transparency Directive. In addition to this, the European Union ratified the Convention on Violence and Harassment of the International Labour Organisation and adopted the directives against trafficking and against gender-based violence, which complement other achievements made at the legislative level during this mandate.

Thanks to all this legislation passed in the last five years, we are closer to ending the inequalities and gender gaps that women face, for example when it comes to combining their work and personal lives, where women always spend more hours caring for the family, to the point that 7.7 million women are unemployed due to care responsibilities. Or when it comes to climbing professionally and reaching a position on the boards of directors of large European companies. In this sense, seven out of ten board members in the European Union remain men and less than one in ten largest companies in the 27 Member States has a president or executive director.

Gender equality not only benefits women, it benefits our societies. It makes us better societies. It makes us societies more free.

In short, the legislative work on gender equality carried out by the European Parliament will help improve equal opportunities for women in our societies and close the different gender gaps. In the long term, this work should also be reflected in an increase in the participation of women in elections, both at the national and local levels and at the community level.

Photographer: Philippe BUISSIN. Copyright: © European Union 2024 – Source : EP. Usage terms: Identification of origin mandatory

Soraya Rodríguez Ramos

Mujeres al frente es un espacio de reflexión dirigido por la política y abogada española Soraya Rodríguez Ramos. Desde 2019, es diputada del Parlamento Europeo en la delegación del partido Ciudadanos. Desde su escaño de eurodiputada, desarrolla un intenso trabajo como portavoz en Igualdad de Género y Derechos de la Mujer del grupo Renew Europe, así como miembro del Comité de Derechos Humanos y de la Comisión de Medio Ambiente por su compromiso con el cuidado del planeta y la justicia climática.