PES Women welcomes Italian Presidency engagement on equality



PES Women President Zita Gurmai welcomed today the efforts and engagement made by the Italian Presidency on equality issues: “The Italian Presidency has not only spoken on equality issues, but is also acting on it to make issues like the maternity leave directive and anti-discrimination directive a reality”.

Ms. Gurmai underlined that: “the PES family has strongly been advocating for keeping the legislative work on the Maternity Leave Directive on the European agenda as we do not believe that the crisis can be an excuse to swipe this issue off the table as part of the re-fit exercise. We hope that all Member States and the Commission will follow this example so that we can put forward concrete proposals in the coming months”.

While the PES family is aware of the need for flexibility in the proposal, it is essential to ensure a better balance between work and private life for all women and men across Europe. Also on the equal treatment directive (anti-discrimination directive), Zita Gurmai pointed that in 2009, it was blocked and has remained blocked until now.

The PES Women President added: “Finally we have an opportunity to ensure equal access to goods and services for everyone. Last time it was on the table there was an attempt to pit minorities against each other, to build inequality into legislation designed to counter it. This time around we can say that our political family stands shoulder to shoulder to say no to any type of discrimination. This is the reason why we join Rainbow Rose in its call to Member States to reach an agreement to forbid all types of discrimination, including those based on sexual orientation”.

Rainbow Rose (LGBT network of PES) has long called for sex-based and gender-based discrimination to be understood as covering discrimination against all trans people. The PES family believes that it is vital to keep all grounds of discrimination together to make it a very strong piece of legislation, and to demonstrate to European citizens that a social Europe fighting against discrimination does exist.