Polish Women's Lobby became the Member of European Women’s Lobby
In light of the French EU Presidency, this year’s General Assembly of the European Women’s Lobby was held in Lyon (France) from 24 to 26 October. The meeting gathered more than 150 delegates, representing EWL national co-ordinations and European-wide member organisations, from all over Europe. The EWL General Assembly took place in the Lyon City Hall and was generously hosted by the Lyon City Council with the organisational support of the French Coordination of the EWL (CLEF).
The three-day event started on Friday with a seminar on ‘Local Authorities as Actors Promoting Equality between Women and Men in Europe: Realities and Perspectives’. The Deputy Mayor of Lyon Ms Rabatel opened the seminar, followed by a welcoming address by Valérie Létard, State Secretary for Solidarity on behalf of the French EU Presidency. The European Commission Vice-President Margot Wallström sent a video message of support. An overview on the essential role of regions in achieving equality between women and men preceded a round table on ‘Tools for Gender equality at Local Level’.
The main issues discussed during the round table were the action by and for migrant women at the local level and the importance of gender budgeting as a policy instrument. Finally, there were two presentations of concrete regional experiences about urban planning and time management with a gender equality perspective.
The EWL General Assembly itself took place on 25 and 26 October. Amongst the various discussions held by the delegates, five Issue Groups were organised by member organisations on a) Women’s economic independence, b) European Security Policy: a non-militarist approach, c) Who’s afraid of gender budgeting?, d) Sexist discrimination in the media and e) Reproductive Rights: Progress and Threats in Europe. This General Assembly also saw an historic moment were two new national coordinations, from Cyprus and Poland, and one European-wide organisation, Federation of Kalé, Manouch Romany & Sinté Women, became full members of the European Women’s Lobby, which now comprises of national co-ordinations in all 27 EU member states and accession countries and 20 European-wide organisations. During the GA, a new Board of administration of forty members was elected, out of whom a new Executive Committee of seven members was elected in return. The Executive Committee of EWL for 2008-2010 now comprises of: Brigitte Triems (Germany), President; Martine Levy (France) and Thérèse Murphy (Ireland), Vice-Presidents; Elisabeth Law (UK) Treasurer; Iliana Balabanova Stoycheva (Bulgaria), Eva Fager (Sweden) and Karen Serres (COPA - Committee of Agricultural Organisations in Europe), ordinary members.
The Network of East-West Women NEWW-Polska became the member of the Polish Women's Lobby in 2007.