Local and regional authorities have a crucial role to play and can be key actors in bringing about this progress, notably through their substantive control over public services. Women remain, however, underrepresented in local decision-making across the EU. To date, only 13% of elected mayors and 29% of members of regional governments and assemblies are female. This leads to a lack of awareness of gender-related issues and thus to a lack of action to address the obstacles that adversely impact women in their daily lives.
As a step for change, on the 21st of January 2019 the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) will bring together a number of locally elected representatives, local leaders and experts, in order to exchange best practices and stir new ideas on how women can be empowered at local level in both politics and society.
The aim is to present a set of policy recommendations to the 350 locally elected members of the CoR during the plenary session of February 2019.
Two central questions will underpin the conference:
- What measures can local and regional authorities take to forward gender equality at local level?
- How to improve the political representation of women in local decision-making?
THE REGISTRATION FOR THE CONFERENCE HAS BEEN CLOSED.
YOU CAN FOLLOW THE CONFERENCE VIA ONLINE LIVE STREAM 15:00-18:15, January 21, 2019
(links in the right column)
|14.00 – 14.30 Registration |
|14.30 – 15.00 Opening statements|
- Karl-Heinz Lambertz, President of the European Committee of the Regions
- Andrea Almeida Cordero, Member of Cabinet of Commissioner Gabriel in charge of Gender Equality (Speech on behalf of the Commissioner)
- Mairead McGuinness [Video Message], Vice-President of the European Parliament
- Eva Maydell [Video Message], Member of the European Parliament
|15.00 – 16.30 LOCAL ACTIONS FOR GENDER EQUALITY|
This session will be composed of two panels running in parallel:
Panel 1.1 Public space: Designing gender-sensitive cities
Urban landscapes form an integral part of the daily lives of the majority of EU citizens, yet there are fundamental differences in the way women and men understand and access urban structures and systems. The way cities are designed and governed can be gendered in ways that impact how women live and experience urban life in terms of safety, mobility, service delivery and even income. There is now a greater priority from the local to European level towards achieving equality through gender mainstreaming of policy and practice. During this interactive debate, participants will discuss the issues, strategies and best practice of action and implementation at the city and regional levels towards making cities better places for women.
- Claudia Prinz-Brandenburg, Representative of the City of Vienna
- Jeanne Ponté, Parliamentary assistant, European Parliament, Brussels
- Serap Altinisik, Head of Plan International EU Liaison Office in Brussels
- Malpuri Groth, Programme Manager, Swedish Women's Lobby
Moderator: Sally Kneeshaw, Coordinator of the URBACT Gender Equal Cities initiative, London, United Kingdom
Panel 1.2 Education and career: Supporting girls in their ambitions
The gender pay gap and the glass-ceiling are a harsh reality for many European women.
In 2017, only 25.3% of senior managerial positions were held by women in the EU and on average women's gross hourly wages were 16% below those of men. Occupational segregation is also an issue: very few women are employed in the scientific, technology, engineering and mathematics fields, whereas very few men are employed in health and care professions. During this debate, participants will discuss how local and regional authorities can help support women in their academic and career ambitions.
- Carmen Vera Garcia, Head of the Brussels team and Board Member of Leadarise
- Gillian Ford, Councillor London Borough of Havering, United Kingdom, EA-group CoR member and Deputy Chair LGA Children & Learning Board
- Katja Legisa, Digital Brusselles Director, Digital Leadership Institute
Moderator: Claudia de Castro Caldeirinha, Co-writer of "Women leading the way in Brussels", Founder and Executive Director of Redscope Consulting, Portugal
|16.30 – 16.45 Coffee break |
|16.45 – 18.15 IMPROVING POLITICAL REPRESENTATION AT LOCAL LEVEL |
This session will be composed of two panels running in parallel:
Panel 2.1 Local problems, local solutions: An exchange of best practices for empowering women
Europe is characterised by its diversity, with each region having its own challenges, traditions and political culture. This also has an impact in terms of gender equality. There are stark differences in the political representation of women at local level across Europe. The percentage of elected mayors varies from 5.5% to 40% amongst European countries. This panel brings together local politicians from different geographical regions to discuss their experiences and creative initiatives to increase women's voices in local politics and encourage them to take on leadership positions
- Kamzy Gunaratnam, Deputy Mayor of Oslo, Norway
- Jasna Gabrič, Mayor of the Municipality of Trbovlje, Slovenia, and ALDE-group CoR member, shortlisted for World Mayor 2018
- Ibon Uribe, Mayor of Galdakao, Spain, Member of the Standing Committee on Gender Equality at the CEMR
- Lewis Dijkstra, European Commission, DG for Regional and Urban Policy/Hedvig Norlén, European Commission, DG Joint Research Centre
Moderator: Sana Afouaiz, Founder of Womenpreneur Initiative, Brussels
Panel 2.2 Intergenerational dialogue: Empowering Europe's next generation of leaders
At the current rate of progress, it would take 100 years to reach equal female participation in political decision-making. If we want to accelerate the process, it is essential to provide the next generation of female leaders with the right opportunities and to build young women's self-confidence to pursue political careers. This panel will bring together established female politicians, who will share their own experiences and give advice to young women.
- Ana Lidia Pereira, President of Young EPP
- Kata Tüttő, Representative of District 12 of Budapest, Hungary, and PES-Group CoR Member
- Jelena Drenjanin, Member of Huddinge Municipal Council, Sweden, and EPP-Group CoR member
- Laura Hidalgo, President of the Jeunes MR d'Anderlecht, Brussels
- Neva Sadikoglu-Novaky, Secretary General, ECR Group CoR
Moderator: Esther Pozo Vera, Deputy Head of Unit in the unit Migration Management Support at DG Home
|18.30 – 19:00 Conclusions|