More than 200 people debated gender equality and assisted at the launch of the "Charter of Intents for Equal Citizenship" at the conference "Men and Gender Equality in Europe" organised by the European Movement International (EMI) at the European Economic and Social Committee.
"Gender equality is central to the achievement of the European Union's goals on rights, democracy, solidarity, cohesion and competitiveness" stated Pat Cox, the President of the European Movement International (EMI), in his opening address.
"The concept is undergoing a transformation from being an almost exclusive and essentially isolated women’s issue, driven by and for women, to a more inclusive societal perspective where men are no less central to its elaboration and achievement."
"This is why the campaign led by the EMI, adopted an innovative approach and took men as the necessary driving force towards more equal societies" Pat Cox concluded his remarks.
Vladimír Špidla, the Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities strongly emphasized "the leadership that the European Union (EU) has shown in adopting legislation promoting equal opportunities for women and men." He presented the Roadmap for equality between women and men 2006-2010 and particularly stressed the importance of its goals for the achievement of full equality as a fundamental value of the EU.
The conference is the final event of a campaign that lasted 13 months. Hundreds of stakeholders have already signed the Charter of Intents.
Immediate results of the campaign are being disseminated, among which:
1. the results of the survey on the role of men and women in the labour market and
2. a catalogue of best practices of ideas, projects and laws that support a more equal sharing of responsibilities and opportunities in public, professional and private life.