MEPs say ‘no’ to extreme gender-based policy report

11-Mar-2014 @ 14:0

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Anthea McIntyre Anthea McIntyre

Anthea McIntyre Anthea McIntyre

Plans to give the EU more control over employment law, healthcare, education and pensions were blocked in the European Parliament in Strasbourg today.

MEPs voting on the report "Equalities Between Women and Men in 2012" rejected calls by its author, Portuguese Communist MEP Ines Zuber, to include a raft of measures giving the EU greater control over family life.

They accepted Conservative arguments that it would pave the way for greater EU sway over employment law, including wage-levels, contracts and parental leave, as well as family law, healthcare, housing, pension rights, education and even school textbooks. It would also have promoted the principle of compulsory gender quotas.

London MEP Marina Yannakoudakis, Conservative spokesman on gender equality, said: “while the report can be commended for including calls to combat violence against women, end gender-based violence as a whole and promote equal pay for equal work, the report went too far in an attempt to create a supranational framework, giving Member States no say or control over equality issues”.

“The Conservatives are wholly committed to preserving and fostering a society where women and men enjoy equality of opportunity and equal treatment across all areas of life, but efforts to eradicate discrimination or unfairness must come from Member States. Only tailor-made policies taking into account varying traditional, cultural and social backgrounds can successfully alter attitudes and current situations.”

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