Parental leave will be increased from three to four months and will apply to all employees regardless of the type of contract, according to an agreement signed yesterday (18 June) by social partners in presence of Vladimír Špidla, EU commissioner for employment, social affairs and equal opportunities.
Due to resistance from conservative member states, the Commission is likely to backtrack on its plans for an anti-discrimination directive, proposing only to offer protection against discrimination on disability grounds.
Europe should not shy away from positive discrimination as a means of promoting female scientists as it will help tackle skills shortages in scientific disciplines, argues the author of a Parliament report on women in science in an interview with EURACTIV.
Three and a half years into the Barroso Commission's term, the network of European NGOs working to combat racism (ENAR) reminds the Commission President of his initial announcement that he would introduce a framework directive to cover "all forms of discrimination".
Despite general consensus over the need to protect and empower women, they remain under-represented in politics and marginalised in decision-making throughout the world, write EU Commissioners Benita Ferrero-Waldner and Margot Wallström ahead of International Women's Day on 8 March.
While increasing numbers of women are working, they remain underrepresented in sectors considered crucial for economic development which are usually better remunerated, notes the Commission's annual report on equality between women and men.
In spite of the action taken at European level for eliminating discrimination, much remains to be done. In order to promote equality in the EU, 2007 was designated the ‘Year of Equal Opportunities for All’.
Women's Rights Committee Rapporteur Amalia Sartori (EPP) has presented her report on the European Commission's gender equality three-year road map, which urges "practical steps" from the Commission to redress the 15% deficit that still exists between men and women's average wages across the EU.
As the Commission heralds the European Year of Equal Opportunities, a European Movement conference on 'Men and gender equality in Europe' pushed for a more significant involvement of men in gender-equality issues.
Although, on average, women in the EU have better education than men, they spend less time earning money and more time doing domestic work, according to a study published by Eurostat on the occasion of the International Women's Day.
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