The European Parliament’s Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (also called FEMM Committee) is a specialised group of Members of the European Parliament which addresses issues relevant of Women’s Rights and to advance Gender Equality. They meet once or twice a month in Brussels.
Our Vice-President Ana Peláez was a panellist at their 4 December meeting, which addressed the future EU gender equality strategy. This strategy will establish the priority areas where the EU will work for gender equality. In the meeting, Ana reiterated the need to explicitly address the problems that affect the most vulnerable women and girls, including those with disabilities. Forced sterilization, forced abortion, and forced institutionalisation are some of the many violations they face.
She reminded the audience that persons with disabilities are not sick people, and expressed her frustration at the fact that gender equality is not mentioned in the Disability Strategy and gave 5 recommendations for the future Gender Equality Strategy:
- Take a holistic approach
- Address gender-based violence
- Give access to jobs and address the poverty of women and girls with disabilities
- Give access to justice
- Women should be present at all decision-making stages of the strategy
The meeting also included contributions of other speakers such as Emilia Roig from the Center for Intersectional Justice based in Berlin, who provided comprehensive explanations of intersectionality, stressing the importance to address systemic inequalities and focus on trickle up approaches by focusing on the most vulnerable members of vulnerable groups in order to uplift everyone.