It was a busy week for Commissioner Reding who is responsible for justice, fundamental rights and citizenship. For many months she has been working on draft legislation which would see a mandatory quota of 40% women who sit on Europe’s largest corporate company boards.
However, as many regular visitors to my blog may know it turned out to be a difficult week for Ms Reding. The 26 Commissioners were divided on some of the detail presented within the draft legislation, but rather than throw out the plan, as some media reported, the Commission’s President, Jose Manuel Barroso, allowed Commissioner Reding to resubmit her draft legislation in November.
It was reported that under new plans, the 40% figure would be an “objective for companies to meet rather than a legally binding obligation”. We will find out the full detail by mid-November.
I spent a lot of time discussing this issue last week on various radio and TV programmes which you can watch or listen to here. But Commissioner Reding summed it up well when she said: “We’ve been fighting now for 100 years. One or two weeks now doesn’t make a difference.”
You can also read more about the next stages of the legislation here.
Last week, a powerful article appeared in the European political newspaper, New Europe. It concerned the level of violence against women in Europe and the direction the work of the European Union, the Commission and the Council of Europe in this area. Despite efforts of agencies, NGOs and charities across Europe one in five women in Europe still suffers either physical or psychological violence, according to the Council of Europe.
Essentially there is still a lot of work that must be done, the article asserted.
It was written by Nicolas Beger, Director, Amnesty International European institutions office who said: “These women are variously raped, mutilated, harassed, trafficked, beaten, enslaved or killed. The European Union has recognised its duty to prevent this human rights violation but, as matters stand, is sorely lacking vision and direction.”
You can read his piece, in full, here.
Saturday’s Guardian explored the importance of women’s votes in deciding the US Presidential election in a lengthy special report.
As the race enters its final stages the lead among female voters for the Democrats is narrowing. Indeed the Guardian warned “The Democrats’ huge lead among female voters is crumbling.”
It’s interesting that the female vote is so powerful particularly in the swing state, Florida, and especially as their concern is the same as their male counterparts, i.e. it’s the economy, employment and other non-gender specific concerns rather than ‘women’s issues’ which will be their deciding factor.
You can read the special report in full here.