Equality, yes – EU social engineering, no

09-Jun-2015 @ 14:15

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"Nobody disagrees with equality, but this is patronising to women and pushes Europe's powers into areas where they should not be allowed."

That was the message from Conservative MEPs today over their principled stand against a Socialist push for EU standards on a whole raft of social policies.

Julie Girling, Conservative spokesman on women's rights, said: "We know what fairness is without being sent a definition from Brussels. It is all about equality of opportunity, access to education and training, protection from violence and exploitation – not a socialist dreamland of increased trade union membership and benefits for all."

The report by German Socialist Marie Nioichl received enthusiastic support from Labour MEPs and the Liberal group, but was opposed by Conservatives. It calls for member states to "strengthen and enforce collective bargaining for women's contracts in the workplace", to promote "the voice of women" in trade unions, to examine the "gender effects" of taxation and to pursue quotas and targets for women in business and politics.

The report also demands that companies should have to demonstrate their equal treatment of men and women before being allowed to bid for public contracts, and it even states that "women in general have careers without significant progression."

Mrs Girling said: "The whole report is steeped in an outdated, sociology-driven misconception of equality issues that comes straight from the 1960s. The world has moved on but many MEPs, especially those from the Left, have not.

"The real problem of this obsession with social engineering is that is overlooks the real attacks on equality stemming from trafficking, sexual exploitation and domestic violence."

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