PES Women says NO to withdrawal of Maternity Leave Directive.



PES Women President Zita Gurmai together with her S&D colleagues from the European Parliament today strongly advocated keeping the legislative work on Maternity Leave Directive on the agenda of this new Parliament.

PES Women President adds ‘We have worked so hard with former S&D MEP and Rapporteur Edite Estrela on this issue, we cannot abandon this report half-way. Moreover, the crisis cannot be used as an excuse to push aside gender equality issues. We have fought the conservative backlash up until now.  Last year, when trying to get the Equality Report and the Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Report adopted, we had to fight hard. We will continue fighting against the backlash, we do not want to turn the clock back for women. Maternity leave and the fight for better balance between work and private life for women and men has always been a priority for us.”

Former Rapporteur, socialist Edite Estrela (PS, Portugal) has been working on the report since 2004-2009 mandate, securing 20 weeks of full paid maternity leave as well as 2 weeks of paternity leave. Newly elected MEP Maria Arena, S&D Coordinator for the Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Committee, underlined that "withdrawing this proposal sends an extremely negative signal to citizens all over Europe. It is a massive setback for women’s rights. Our Group calls on the Commission and the Council to commit to supporting the directive and conclude negotiations in the coming months, under the Italian presidency. We trust our new Rapporteur Alessandra Moretti (PD-Italy) will take all appropriate steps to advance this piece of legislation. Abandoning the maternity leave directive is not an option”.

The Withdrawal of the Maternity leave Directive will be discussed in plenary on Tuesday 15 July in Strasbourg.