European Elections 2019

A Feminist Manifesto for Europe

National Women’s Council of Ireland European Election Manifesto.

On May 24th, your vote in the European Parliament election will be crucial to decide the future of Europe. We are calling on all candidates and voters to sign up to our feminist vision for Europe and make a decisive stand against sexism, discrimination, growing inequalities and the rise of the far right.

If you are a candidate, please sign up to our Manifesto and show that you share our vision for a feminist Europe and a better future for all.

As a voter, please check what candidates share your ideas for a fair, sustainable and just society and make sure to vote for feminist candidates.

Here is what future MEPs can do to ensure that…

Women are Leaders

Advance women’s leadership and participation in decision-making at all levels.

  • Develop a new strategy for equality between women and men 2019-2024.
  • Ensure equal representation of women and men in political decision-making and 50/50 representation at all EU decision-making bodies.
  • Promote a 40% quota for boardrooms of companies across Europe.
  • Guarantee decision-making parity in all processes and structures, including in environmental and climate-related negotiations and mechanisms.

Women are safe

Male violence is a daily reality for many women and girls across Europe. All women deserve a life free from violence and the fear of violence.

  • Advocate for EU ratification of the Istanbul Convention and support Ireland as a Member State to fully implement the Convention’s measures to prevent violence against women, protect victims and prosecute the perpetrators.
  • Implement the Directive on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings and protecting its victims, with a particular focus on the gendered impacts of trafficking, trafficking for sexual exploitation and ending the impunity of perpetrators.
  • Implement a strong, human rights-based refugee and asylum-seeker EU system that is safe, fair and effective. Ensure that funding is ring-fenced in the Asylum and Migration Fund to support women and girls who are migrants and asylum seekers and apply gender mainstreaming to the fund.
  • Adopt a zero tolerance policy towards sexism, harassment, racism and ableism in all the institutions and Parliaments in Europe, with clear steps for supporting victims and holding perpetrators to account.

Women are economically secure and supported

Guarantee women’s economic independence through supporting member states to invest in quality public services and crucial social protections.

  • Implement a gender budgeting framework to ensure gender equality, including for all EU Structural and Cohesion Funds. Guarantee funding programmes for women’s rights and gender equality, including gender research.
  • Advocate for a ‘care guarantee’ to address care needs throughout the life-cycle. Value care work by directing investments in the EU budget in this area.
  • Invest in high quality public services including transport, education, housing, water, energy and health.
  • Advocate for procurement directives and guidelines that are gender sensitive and socially just which recognise equality, proofing and targets as a measure of quality.

Women are equal at work

  • Women continue to predominate in low-paid, part-time and precarious work. We need to end the gender and pension pay gap, improve work-life balance and ensure security at work, and guarantee all women’s economic independence, including individual rights to social protection and taxation.
  • Implement the Directive on Work-Life-Balance which sets minimum benchmarks for parental, paternity and carer's leave, and the right to request flexible working arrangements.
  • Introduce a minimum income directive to be passed by the next European Parliament.
  • Address in-work poverty and the rise of precarious work by advocating for trade union rights and decent working conditions.

Women are healthy

Tackle the health inequalities with a particular focus on the experiences of marginalised women. The EU should advocate women’s healthcare, at European and national level.

  • Fund health research on women’s health and translate findings into recommended healthcare practices across states.
  • Commission a report on women’s physical and mental health to investigate health inequalities and determine actions for improvement.
  • Advocate for and implement European standards for maternal care and sexual and reproductive rights, including access to abortion care.

Women are living in a just and sustainable world

Existing inequalities and exploitation will be worsened by the impacts of climate change. There is an urgent need for political leadership to create a just and sustainable future for everyone.

  • Identify and raise awareness of the gender implications of climate change and environmental decline. Identify specific, targeted measures to prevent and minimise these risks to women at the forefront of complex environmental challenges.
  • Deliver ambitious, time-bound and detailed policy objectives for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions across all sectors, and implement fair measures to support the transition to a low carbon society. Cut gas emissions by 50% by 2030 and set a target for net zero gas emission across the European Union by 2050.

Download NWCI's Feminist Manifesto for Europe.