Renew Europe CoR’s Donatella Porzi and Sara Arslanagic contributed to the European Parliament Gender Equality Week, looking at strategies to close the gender gap in politics starting from the local and regional levels.
Ensuring a more level playing field for women to enter and thrive in politics is essential for democratic representation, good governance, sound policy making and overall gender equality.
During the European Committee of the Regions conference, Porzi, Regional Councillor for the Region of Umbria, Italy, participated in the session “The big picture: Why gender equality matters and strategies for closing the gender gap in politics at the local and regional levels”.
“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 organisations. Building political confidence from a young age can lead to future political engagement. And we need infrastructure that will allow for support,” she said.
“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.”
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 are examples of Renew Europe CoR’s commitment and support for gender equality.
Moreover, Renew Europe CoR signed up to the Simone Veil Pact to preserve, promote and strengthen the rights of all women, in all areas, for all generations, in all EU Member States.
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 only account for a third of elected officials (32.6%).