BIC Welcomes the European Parliament Report on Gender Equality in the EU's Foreign and Security Policy

Submitted by BIC on Thu, 10/22/2020 - 15:20


Today marked the first ever European Parliament written report outlining all the political, institutional and funding aspects needed for the achievement of gender equality in the EU’s foreign and security policy. The purpose of such a report is to address to current gaps within the EU in establishing a common and coherent policy on gender equality and women’s empowerment. As rapporteur Ernest Urtasun, MEP, said “The EU should lead by example on gender equality and start by applying these principles within its own institutions”. The report calls for clear, measurable and time-bound objectives on EU’s approach to gender equality through external actions. Measures such as a women’s quota of 50% for management positions and mandatory gender equality trainings for all middle and senior managers are part of the report. Rapporteur Hannah Neumann, who has been leading initiatives within the European Parliament on the Women, Peace and Security Agenda, highlighted that “Diversitymakes political decisions better. That is especially true in war and crisis situations. This is why women need to sit at the negotiation table!”


Fernando Aguiar, BIC Strategic Adviser on Conflict and EU Politics, who also follows discussions on the WPS agenda, said: 

“The EU’s current normative framework on Women, Peace and Security, in addition to its Gender Action Plan I & II (GAP III is under discussions), stand with significant potential to bring knowledge and transform power dynamics that undermine women’s substantial participation in all levels of EU’s decision making processes. On this front, the BIC welcomes the adoption of such a report, which will strengthen current commitments and lead the way towards a substantial implementation of policies on gender equality and women’s empowerment. Yet, there is still a great disconnect between narratives and actions within the EU, as Member States lack synergy and coherence. In this way, obstacles still persist and prevent the full implementation of EU’s policies on WPS. To reverse such a trend is no easy task, but it will require strategic leadership at all levels, committed and packed with resources, to realize a critical transformation from within that will focus on applying a gender perspective in all matters of peace and security.  Here we from the BIC endorse the need for “pragmatism in the alternation between hard and soft power” with respect to gender equality in EU’s foreign and security policy.”