The 2019 European elections are decisive in many ways. One of the issues featuring very prominently ahead of these elections is feminism. The current new feminist wave nourished by the explosion of the #Metoo movement served as a real wakeup call to many women but also men. It is safe to say that what these elections have already thought us is that the fight for gender equality goes hand in hand with a united Europe. Today we see the emergence of populist, conservative trends that risk jeopardizing equal rights and fomenting discrimination against women along other minority groups. However, history tells us that the European Union (and its predecessors) constitutes an effective vehicle for gender equality as much as women’s movements are vital to a functioning European democracy.
Therefore, FEPS (the Foundation for European Progressive Studies) and Gender5+ (the European feminist think tank) join forces to discuss the role of the EU for women and vice versa just in the light of the outcomes of these milestone elections. In order to provide a historical perspective on women’s involvement since the early beginnings of the EU, the documentary on the life of Eliane Vogel Polsky (a leading women’s rights advocate in Europe) will be screened in the presence of the co-director (Agnès Hubert) to introduce the debate. What has been the importance of the EU for women through time? How did women’s involvement translate into a more social Europe? How do the latest EP electoral outcomes matter not only to advance women’s rights across Europe but also to preserve the progress made so far? How did the female voter turnout impact the share of women elected representatives? How would more women in strategic decision-making positions contribute to Europe’s flourishing? These are some of the questions we will seek to address through this interactive debate with our set of gender policy experts in order to explore how gender equality as a fundamental value enshrined in the EU Treaties can continue to fight for a feminist Europe!
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