PES Women: From gaining to owning power


PES Women 2017 conference

Where does power lie? What is the true role of women in today’s society? In a world which too often puts women’s issues on the back burner, women are increasingly willing to stand up for and protect their rights — but why has this not yet translated into increased political engagement?

These questions and others will be addressed by the 2017 PES Women annual conference, which takes place in Lisbon on Thursday immediately before the main annual Council of the Party of European Socialists.

PES Women president Zita Gurmai said:

"In the face of conservative and extremist forces that are gaining the upper hand all over Europe, anti-feminist rhetoric and misogynist behaviour are now part of the political mainstream again.

"We know that women do not stay silent and are ready to maintain and regain their rights. But what is the role of social democratic parties in converting this activism into political engagement? This is the key focus of our discussions."

Elza Pais, president of PS Mulheres (PS Women), added:

"The world needs more women taking central decisions. It's vital that we do not to continue to waste the knowledge of women."

Other speakers at the event include:

  • Maria Manuel Leitão Marques, Minister for Presidency and Administrative Modernisation
  • Rosa Monteiro, State Secretary for Citizenship and Equality, Portugal
  • Pernilla Baralt, State Secretary to Minister of Children, the Elderly & Gender Equality Åsa Regnér, Sweden
  • Celinda Lake, President Lake Research Centre, Strategist, USA
  • Maria João Rodrigues, President of FEPS, Vice-President of S&D Group in the European Parliament, Portugal
  • Ana Sofia Fernandes, Representative Portuguese Platform for women’s rights 

The PES Women conference also provides an opportunity for activists and politicians from around Europe to meet, compare experiences, make new connections and exchange best practice.