Closing the gender gap: Renew Europe CoR’s participation in European Parliament’s Gender Equality Week

Committed to gender equality, Renew Europe CoR’s Donatella Porzi and Sara Arslanagic contributed to the European Parliament’s Gender Equality Week, looking at strategies to close the gender gap in politics starting from the local and regional level. It also highlighted the Simone Veil Pact.

Ensuring a more level playing field for women to enter and thrive in politics is essential for democratic representation, good governance and sound policy making, as much as these are also central to improving overall gender equality. However, women still remain under-represented in governance structures and the situation in local and regional government is not different: the proportion of women members and presidents of regional assemblies in the EU averages at one-third (33.5 %), and at the local level, women mayors or other leaders and members of local and municipal councils in the EU also only account for a third of the elected (32.6 %).

Our group sets out to change this, lending its support to the Simone Veil Pact. Its aim is to preserve, promote and strengthen the rights of all women, in all areas, for all generations, in all member states. The Renew Europe Cor group implements this Pact at the subnational level with concrete commitments:


Have you signed the Simone Veil Pact yet? Sign it here!


During the European Committee of the Regions conference, Donatella Porzi, Regional Councillor for the Region of Umbria, participating in the session “The big picture: why gender equality matters and strategies for closing the gender gap in politics at the local and regional level’, said:
“We need to think of the future – we need to start early by encouraging young women to get involved in student government and local community organizations. Building political confidence from a young age can lead to future political engagement. And we need infrastructures that will allow for support. Women should not be obliged to choose between having a family life or a career or political engagement – every women should be able to have it all – if she wants, but for that, we need childcare options, parental leave, and flexible working arrangements.”

Sara Arslanagic, City Councillor, Sarajevo, participating in the “Zooming in: Steps to improve gender balance in politics at the local and regional level”, said: “The first step to closing the gender gap in politics is to start from the lowest point and build it up towards higher politics. This change needs to begin from within political parties, meaning that it is necessary to provide equal access, training, and most importantly empowerment of women. In Bosnia and Herzegovina laws exist on paper but without the full support of political parties these laws remain on paper and not in practice.”

This event and the support of the Simone Veil Pact shows our continuous commitment and support towards gender equality, as shown for instance by Donatella Porzi’s “Stopping gender-based violence” report and the establishment on her own proposal of a Regional Commission of Inquiry on Feminicide and all forms of gender-based violence in her home region of Umbria.

“Local and regional strategies for closing the gender gap in politics: Roads taken and what´s next?” was a conference by the European Committee of the Regions on October 25 in the context of the European Parliament’s Gender Equality Week.

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