Monday 9 March 2009

Knowing the party of gender equality

I’m sure I don’t need to remind Fabians that yesterday was International Women’s Day. And as the leading voice for women’s rights on the European stage, the Party of European Socialists coordinated a pan-EU “Day of Action”, the first of five to be held on key political issues in the run-up to the European election in June. Under the title “Championing gender equality”, the PES brought together dozens of events held by member parties to give the celebrations a real European dimension: from Tallinn to the Atlantic coast of Portugal, from Brussels to Athens, socialist, social democrat and labour activists and politicians were campaigning on the same issue on the same day. I joined PES Women President Zita Gurmai to celebrate the Day of Action in Budapest, where an impressive series of events were hosted by the Hungarian Socialist Party with the firm support of Party Leader and Hungarian Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány.

In contrast, the European conservatives (EPP) and Liberals (ELDR) made no reference to International Women’s Day – although this is unsurprising, as neither of their manifestos so much as mention this central social issue. It goes to show that the PES is the party of gender equality, and that we do our politics in a more inclusive and democratic way too.

I urge all Next Left readers to visit our website to see full reports and photos of events from across the EU, and to participate in the debates and discussions on our campaign blog.

We are holding our next Day of Action , “New Social Europe - giving people a fairer deal”, on May 9.

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