International Women's Day - Statement from the European Parliament's Intergroup on LGBT Rights
8 Mar 2011
STRASBOURG, 8 May 2011 -- Today is the 100th anniversary of a global day to recall women's struggle to secure fundamental rights in all areas of life; to celebrate the many achievements of women activists; and to point to today's many remaining shortcomings.
On this occasion, the European Parliament's Intergroup on LGBT Rights recalls that women who are lesbian, bisexual and/or transgender often face heightened prejudice, discrimination, and social exclusion -- both on account of being women and of belonging to a minority.
Ulrike Lunacek, Green MEP from Austria and Co-President of the LGBT Intergroup, declared: "Today the Green Group in the European Parliament presented briefing papers on the situation of women in various countries around the world. It will support the work of Parliament's delegations in these countries, informing them of the situation of women -- including the rights of lesbian, bisexual and transgender women. We must keep up our efforts in full solidarity with our sisters across the world, and against those who wish we remained invisible and in the closet."
Sophie in't Veld, Liberal MEP from the Netherlands and Vice-President of the LGBT Intergroup, continued: "Unfortunately, in the second decade of the 21st century we are still far from achieving genuine gender equality. Religion is used too often as a pretext for curtailing women's rights, in particular sexual and reproductive health rights. Throughout the world, women have no autonomy over their own lives and bodies; that is an anomaly. The choice of a partner, sexuality and family planning must be the personal, individual and free decision of each woman and man around the world."
Sirpa Pietikäinen, MEP from the European People's Party in Finland and Vice President of the LGBT Intergroup, concluded: "The role of women in public life, including in politics, has increased steadily these past 100 years. But inequalities remain: whilst women make up 62% of Finnish Members of the European Parliament, precisely 0% of Maltese MEPs are female. Equality across the EU for women in politics? Not yet!"