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  • Secretary of State for Equality between women and men, Marlene Schiappa started a

    Secretary of State for Equality between women and men, Marlene Schiappa started a "Simone Veil Pact" to trace the feminist policies of the European countries. | Photo: Reuters

Published 5 May 2019
Opinion

The Simone Veil pact will include sexual and reproductive rights, fights against sexual violence, and the measures taken up by countries to fix the gender pay gap.

A pact was launched Sunday by the French government to promote European feminist policy prior to the regional elections of European Parliament scheduled for May 26.

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The Secretary of State for Equality between women and men, Marlene Schiappa, and the head of the former French Minister of European Affairs Nathalie Loiseau started the initiative.

"We propose to harmonize the rights of women in Europe by encouraging members to introduce the most advanced measures in their legislation," they said in an article published in Le Journal du Dimanche.

The project is called “Simone Veil Pact” as a way to honor the first female president of the European Parliament Simone Veil.

She was also an icon of feminist struggle in France during the 1970s, especially decriminalizing abortion.

The founders of the pact said the European Union has been the “world's most protected space for women's rights” yet the employment rate of women is 11 percent lower than men and the gender pay gap is around 16 percent.

They also mentioned how abortion is still banned in many countries, not all of the European states have ratified the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence.

These are the reasons for France to campaign for the universalization of the convention as part of upcoming G7 chaired by the country.

The Simone Veil pact will include sexual and reproductive rights, fights against sexual violence, and the measures taken up by countries to fix the gender pay gap.

“We will also ensure parity between women and men in all European institutions and agencies, by enshrining its principle in the Treaties and ensuring that it is applied,” Loiseau and Schiappa said.

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