Labour MEPs back strong EU gender equality strategy while Tories and UKIP vote against

MEPs voted today to adopt a comprehensive and progressive EU gender equality strategy, addressing key issues like the gender pay gap, under-representation, discrimination, violence against women and sexual and reproductive health.

Labour MEPs backed the report but Conservative and UKIP MEPs voted against.

Mary Honeyball MEP, Labour’s European spokesperson on women’s rights and gender equality, said:

“We know that in many key areas, progress on gender equality has been stalling and this report makes a series of relevant recommendations to address shortcomings.

“We have identified the need for a concrete plan of action which addresses key issues like the gender pay gap and the under-representation of women in decision-making.

“On violence against women, Labour MEPs have called for a new framework directive to prevent all forms of violence against women and girls. When one in three women in the EU has experienced physical or sexual violence, this is a very urgent area of concern.

“The aim of EU gender equality strategy in the coming years should be to produce clear and coherent policies to eliminate all forms of discrimination and strengthen women’s rights.”

The report also affirms the right to unrestricted, safe and legal abortion and access to contraception for young people.