Gender equality policies in the EU
The European Union (EU) aims to combat stereotypes and to promote gender equality through equal treatment legislation, gender mainstreaming, and measures for the advancement of women.
- In 1996 the European Commission committed itself to promoting gender equality in all its policies and activities.
- In 2006 the first ‘Pact for Gender Equality’ was published and in 2008 the European Commission published its Communication ‘Non-discrimination and equal opportunities: A renewed commitment’ that includes different activities to fight discrimination.
- The most recent ‘Strategy for Gender Equality 2016 – 2019’ identifies five priority areas for action, focusing on equal economic independence and equal pay, equality in decision-making, an end to gender-based violence, and greater gender equality beyond the EU.
A number of policies provide guidelines on gender-sensitive communication and the portrayal of women in the media. For example the ‘Audio-visual Media Services Directive (2010/13/EU)’ bans incitement to hatred on the grounds of race, sex, religion and nationality in the media and urges EU Member States to ensure that media services within their jurisdiction do not include any of the above. The opinion of the European Commission’s Advisory Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men on breaking gender stereotypes in the media recommends that students of journalism and media staff receive training on how to use gender-sensitive language.