From Formal to Substantive Gender Equality
Under the Treaty, substantive gender equality, a fundamental human right, is a "task" and an "aim" of the EC, to be promoted "in all its activities"; gender "inequalities" (which affect mainly women, owing, according to the ECJ, to "prejudices and stereotypes") must be eliminated. This cannot be achieved without positive action.
This book is based on a paper presented by the author to the Committee on Women's Rights and Equal Opportunities of the European Parliament on the occasion of the public hearing of November 2000. It welcomes the Commission's proposal to update Directive 76/207, but suggests a more proactive approach, in the light of the Treaty, ECJ case law, international standards, experience and research, and in view of the inferior status of women in practice as deplored by the EC institutions.
The new directive should draw from the Art. 13 Directives, but go further, due to the dundamental and transversal character of gender equality under the Treaty and the specificity of gender inequalities. It should, inter alia, include definitions of direct and indirect discrimination inspired by the Art. 13 Directives; prohibit sexual harassment and unfavourable treatment of women or men related to maternity, paternity or the reconciling of family and work; stipulate that positive action is indicated; instead of allowing derogations; which jeopardise gender equality, impose genuine occupational requirements, which ensure the selection of the best candidates.
This book will be also very useful for the interpretation of the new Directive.
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