EU Gender Action Plan III: it's time for diplomacy that empowers women

Author: Jennifer Emilie Richard

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Today, the European Parliament's Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality and the Committee on Development have jointly adopted an initiative report on the EU Gender Action Plan III, led by Renew Europe MEP, Chrysoula Zacharopoulou. Renew Europe welcomes the result of the vote on this important report.

Under this name - EU Gender Action Plan - there is an important instrument which embeds and promotes gender equality and the empowerment of women in the EU external policies and EU relations with third countries. For example, the EU Gender Action Plan III expects that 85% of all new actions throughout external relations will contribute to gender equality and women's empowerment by 2025. A welcome and important first step.

With this report, we highlight the necessity to bring feminist diplomacy to the forefront by promoting the values of gender equality. Renew Europe calls on the EU to be committed to eliminate all form of gender-based violence, like femicide, female genital mutilation, child marriages and human trafficking. We stress the necessity to ensure access to healthcare for women and to increase and to protect sexual and reproductive rights (SHRH).

Renew Europe also wants the EU to promote women’s economic activity and access to education for girls. We must encourage girls and women to take up a career in the fields of science, engineering, technology or mathematics. Women and girls can do whatever they want! Do not let them believe it is not the case.

Chrysoula Zacharopoulou, Renew Europe rapporteur on this file, declared:

"The European Union must support women and girls around the world who seek to control their own fate. Structural adjustments are necessary to foster changes - on sexual and reproductive health and rights, on a life free from violence, on economic empowerment, and on the green and digital transformations. The EU has a duty to pursue this feminist diplomacy. But if it is to enjoy any credibility, it must also uphold the rights and dignity of women within its own borders"