The European Parliament today called on the European Commission to come up with legislation to increase the number of women on company boards and to reduce the gender pay gap.
MEPs passed two resolutions at their plenary session in Strasbourg, one of which calls for the introduction of a quota system to make sure that the proportion of women on company boards is 30% by 2015. They called for that quota to rise to 40% by 2020. The resolution calls on the Commission to present a legislative proposal on quotas by the end of this year.
Sophie in ’t Veld, a Dutch Liberal MEP who drafted one of the resolutions, said that while most people did not like quotas, this one was “a necessary evil, because voluntary measures have got us nowhere”.
MEPs also called for an EU equal pay target to reduce the gender pay gap by 10% in each member state, and urged EU member states to work to improve gender parity in politics.
They called for member states to nominate both a woman and a man when putting forward candidates for European commissioner.
Only 35% of MEPs are women and average female representation across national parliaments in the EU stands at 24%.
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