Maternity rights: European Parliament votes for more equality between women and men and a more sustainable future!
On 20th of October European Parliament by a large majority passed a Resolution in favour of substantially increasing European minimum standards for maternity and paternity leave provisions. In what supporters are lauding a great victory for the women and men living in Europe, the Parliament approved an increase of maternity leave provisions from 14 weeks to 20 weeks and the introduction of two weeks leave for new fathers, both fully paid.
‘This is an incredibly important victory for parents, both mothers and fathers, as it will for the first time shift the costs of maternity from individual women to society as a whole’, says Brigitte Triems, President of the European Women’s Lobby. ‘It is also a sign that our representatives in the European Parliament take progress towards equality between women and men and the future of our societies seriously. We welcome the commitment in particular of those MEPs who championed the text, but also of the Parliament as a whole, which today showed that it is ready to take political decisions which may be unpopular in certain quarters but which in effect favour long-term gains in equality between women and men and socio-economic sustainability.’
 European Parliament, Costs and benefits of maternity and paternity leave, workshop 5 Oct. 2010, study. European Parliament, Policy department C: citizens’ rights and constitutional affairs, Gender equality. PE 425.629
 European Commission, Staff Working Document accompanying the Proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Directive 92/85/EEC, impact assessment report: SEC(2008) 2526/2
 European Commission (2008)