No Modern European Democracy Without Gender Equality

Do you think that women and men should be equally represented in all European Union institutions?

Join the 50/50 Campaign!


In 2009, Europeans will elect a new European Parliament. We will see a new European Commission led by its President, and a new president for the European Parliament. How many of the new Members of the European Parliament will be women, and will both of the top EU leaders wear a suit and tie?

These elections presents an excellent opportunity for the European Union to become more democratic. A modern democracy requires gender equality; the equal representation of women and men in the making of decisions that affect their lives.

Women represent more than half of the population of the EU. The current under-representation of women in decision-making at all levels in the EU institutions is a serious obstacle to the democratic legitimacy of the European Union. This inequality also undermines all attempts to promote a more inclusive and participatory democracy.

It is time for concrete action!

Establishing a just democracy in Europe must necessarily include the representation of all Europeans, both women and men.

Gender equality is a condition for modernising our political systems, so that women and men in their diversity equally share rights, responsibilities, and power. Gender equality should be at the heart of European initiatives to engage citizens in decision-making, to increase the legitimacy of the European Union, and to progress towards policies that reflect the needs and aspirations of all Europeans.

We call for all decision-makers, individuals and organisations interested in the promotion of democracy and justice to support this Campaign at all levels and across the boundaries of countries and political parties.

We call for immediate and long-term measures to ensure gender equality at both European and national levels to improve the functioning and quality of our political systems.

We therefore call upon:
• All European and national political parties to act immediately to ensure the realisation of gender equality in their nomination procedure ahead of the election of the European Parliament in June 2009 – for example through their electoral lists and in the drafting of their programmes.
• Women and men in Europe to seize the current opportunity to speak up and cast their vote in 2009 with a view to advancing democracy, gender equality and justice.
• The EU Member States to fulfil their commitments to democracy and gender equality by ensuring the equal representation of women among the top jobs at EU level to be appointed in 2009.
• Civil society organisations and trade unions in Europe to actively support this call within their networks by including a reference to gender equality in their manifestos for the European elections and in their contact with decision-makers.

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