Too few female ministers
Thursday 08 March 2012
On 8 March, International Women’s Day, Internal Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmström lamented the low number of women in EU governments. In the margins of the Home Affairs Council in Brussels, she tweeted: “On International Women’s Day I look around the JAI Council table. Four women ministers plus two from EES countries (Norway and Switzerland). Still some way to go”. The European Commission, which Malmström is a part of, has nine women and eighteen men.
Meanwhile, the Liberal French MEP, Sylvie Goulard, spoke out in a text published on the French website of the
Nouvel Observateur against the complete absence of women on the board of the European Central Bank. “Gender equality in the EU is just as important as budget balance,” she wrote. The Union only has three women holding the position of head of government (in Germany: Angela Merkel; in Denmark: Helle Thorning-Schmidt; and in Slovakia: Iveta Radicova).
Two thirds of the members of the European Parliament are men. The national parliaments are hardly faring better. The Hungarian parliament, for instance, only has 8.8% of women, in Romania the figure is 11.2%, in Ireland it is 15.1%, while Sweden has 44.7% of women in parliament.