Gender mainstreaming refers to the integration of a gender perspective into the preparation, design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies, regulatory measures and spending programmes, with a view to promoting gender equality and combating discrimination.
A key report entitled “Gender mainstreaming in the work of the European Parliament” was voted yesterday by European Parliament. It called for the “the rights, perspectives and well-being of LGBTIQ people” to be included in all gender mainstreaming activities throughout the European Union.
An attempt by a group of right-wing MEPs, including UKIP’s Mike Hookem MEP, to omit LGBTIQ people by introducing an alternative resolution was defeated.
The report includes a call to the Commission to perform systematic gender impact assessments sensitive to the experiences of LGBTI persons on all new legislative or policy proposals.
This means that all new legislative and policy proposals will be also have to take into account LGBTI people and combat any discrimination against them.
The European Parliament also suggests in its report the introduction of specific human resources guidelines sensitive to LGBTIQ issues, to improve the well-being of staff at the work place.
Speaking with KaleidoScot, Alyn Smith MEP for the Scottish National Party and Member of the Intergroup on LGBTI Rights said: “This is another example in how the EU, acting together, can gently encourage progress in member states that left to their own devices would simply never prioritise LGBTI issues. It is telling that an attempt by the right wing to shoot this down had to be countered, we cannot take progress for granted and in many states still have a long way to go.
“I’m proud that Scotland has made so much progress, in such a comparatively short period of time, but we cannot be complacent. We also have a duty to our brothers and sisters across the continent and wider to share our experience, our commitment and our passion to achieve real equality. That will be achieved not through grand speeches in Parliaments but by solid nuts and bolts work like this report. I was glad to support it today.”
Angelika Mlinar MEP, author of the report and Member of the Intergroup on LGBTI Rights, reacted: “Women and LGBTI people fight the same fight to end violence and discrimination.”
“To this end, we need constructive action and need to see how the money that we spend impacts women and LGBTI people. We will strongly check on the Commission to ensure that they ensure that all gender mainstreaming activities will include LGBTI people.”
Sirpa Pietikainen MEP, Vice-President of the LGBTI Intergroup and shadow rapporteur on the report, added: “Research shows that there is a strong correlation between attitudes towards women and homo- and transphobia. Countries with liberal attitudes to gender roles are more likely to have a high level of acceptance of LGBTI people, and vice-versa.”
“I am very glad the Parliament recognised this today, and has included combatting discrimination of LGBTI people as a key part of its gender mainstreaming activities”