Equality: the European Union makes it happen!

We have just celebrated the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day. But is it still relevant today?

A small reminder of our history: before the 20th Century women had absolutely no rights. They were considered inferior beings and therefore not able to make their own decisions. This was particularly true for married women. It was only in 1942 in France, for example, that married women could work and only then on the condition that they weren't taking the positions of other people!

It was only after the Second World War in Europe that discrimination against women that had been written into law started to disappear.

But it was the construction of Europe with the Treaty of Rome that gave the campaign for equality real impetus.

In 1965, women got the right to work without the permission of their husbands.

In 1972 the notion of "Equal work, equal pay" first appeared and in 1975 discrimination against women was finally banned.

Since the year 2000, the national implementation of European directives have aimed at combatting inequality in the workplace and in politics. Do you really know all that the European Union has done for us? And it's not over… on 8 March at the European Parliament we celebrated what has been achieved (a lot) and what still remains to be done in order to achieve real equality between women and men.

In 2010, the European Parliament adopted the Women's Charter, to spread equality throughout all European policies (gendermainstreaming), and the Strategy of Equality between Women and Men for the period 2010-2015. In the EUROPE 2020 Strategy, increasing women's participation in the economy is crucial if we want to achieve the objective of becoming a competitive and sustainable economy. My visit to the European Parliament on 8 March persuaded me that we can still count on the European institutions to promote equality in Europe. And all the more so now given that the person responsible for equality at the European Commission is Viviane Reding.

The Parliament's work in 2010 in the following areas is awaiting the agreement of the Member States (in the European Council ) before being accepted: 20 weeks of maternity leave and two weeks of paternity leave on full pay.

A binding resolution to combat violence against women with a European protection mandate.

Last Tuesday the Parliament has voted on two new resolutions (non binding): women in poverty and equality in general. For the first time in this resolution, we speak clearly about the strong measures to be taken by the Member States "such as quotas" in order to bring more women in the decision-making roles and in particular on the board of directors. The word "sacrilege" was adopted by the majority of MEPS! When we know that only Norway, Spain and France have adopted quotas, this will make many heads of state howl. It would seem that Commissioner Reding has decided to impose the measure from Spring 2012 with the objective of 30% in 2015 and 40% in 2020. The vote in a commission of the Belgian Chamber of Deputies last week in which quotas became law was nothing more than was expected.

The resolution demands binding measures to ensure that there are more women in politics and demands that the European Commission sanctions countries that do not work to reduce the gender pay gap between women and men.

Last but not least, we are waiting on a report in April on measures to be taken that favour female entrepreneurship.

To close this editorial celebrating the 100th anniversary of the International Women's Day let's leave the last word to Viviane Reding while sending her all our support for future actions: "Gender equality is more than just a slogan; it is our social and economic responsibility. I am confident that together, we can make it happen".

Women-Friendly Companies

Management & leadership

17/03 Découvrez les 1001 facettes du monde merveilleux de Mac

Mac est de plus en plus présent dans notre société et son monde vaut la peine d'être exploré ! Grâce à cet atelier, vous découvrirez les nombreuses facettes de Mac et vous apprendrez à naviguer dans le monde d'Apple afin d'en maîtriser les multiples possibilités !

24/03 Le langage non verbal: que dit ce que vous ne dites pas

On ne peut pas ne pas communiquer. Notre silence est éloquent et notre corps parle constamment. D'ailleurs, l'humain a inventé le langage parce que le corps ne sait pas mentir. De fait, le geste précède la parole et révèle ce que le cerveau pense mais ne dit pas ou ne peut pas dire.

Woman's Health Academy

La Woman’s Health Academy est une initiative conjointe de la Woman’s Academy et de la Women’s Clinic (Groupe Chirec).

16/03 Comment augmenter votre bien-être dans un environnement stressant

Presque à chaque seconde, un choix crucial s'offre à nous : celui d'être esclave de nos émotions, nos hormones et nos pulsions ou celui d'utiliser notre conscience.

24/03 Notre capital abdominaux-périnée: comment le préserver?

Notions de la morphologie périnéale et abdominale – pratiquer les exercices pour le périnée – exercices hypopressifs pour l'abdomen.

28/04 Révélez votre image et votre style

Trouvez votre style, vos couleurs, votre personnalité et adoptez le bon maquillage.


22/03 Déjouez les pièges du recruteur

Les recruteurs pratiquent différentes techniques de recrutement et sélection pour mesurer vos motivations, compétences et personnalité.

29/03 Know and present yourself better

As part of a job search and professional life, communication and self-knowledge are essential. Whether to present your motivation, to understand the expectations of your stakeholders (recruiters, entrepreneurs, …) or simply to have a better knowledge of your own personality, the MBTI will help you to maximize your impact.


Namur, 14/03: Business Lunch La place des femmes dans les métiers scientifiques

Business lunch placé sous le signe de l'échange, des rencontres des découvertes et de la place des femmes dans les métiers scientifiques.

Bruxelles, 17/03: « Quand on veut, on peut ! »

Après un parcours difficile, parsemé de souffrances, Betty Batoul a réussi à prendre son destin en main et faire de sa vie un véritable conte de fée.

Bertrix, 25-26/03: 7ème Forum des Luxembourgeoises

L'ASBL Méridienne organise son 7ème Forum, qui se tiendra aux Ateliers du Saupont à Bertrix .

Wavre, 05/04: Message d’'espoir sur le cancer du sein

Soirée d’information sur ce cancer particulièrement fréquent qui atteint près d’1 femme sur 8 et concerne des femmes de plus en plus jeunes.

Brussels, 05 May: JUMP Forum 2011

For the landmark 5th edition of the JUMP Forum we have a programme packed with visionary speakers as well as educative and inspiring workshops.

Sweden, 19-21/05: 360Entrepreneurship Summit

Are you a passionate, creative and committed woman entrepreneur who wants to make most of your potential in business?


JUMP: Empowering Women, Advancing the Economy!

JUMP offers women practical tools to help them realise their professional and personal aspirations, and supports companies and organisations that wish to promote better gender diversity within their management.

A multilingual web portal and a bi-weekly e-newsletter

women practical workshops to develop and improve assets and professional knowledge as well as advice to improve and preserve mental, physical and financial capital

The annual European event in Brussels dedicated to the professional lives of women and their career planning

The AXA Wo_Men@Work Award honours a business leader who has been a fervent supporter of male/female equality

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Newsletter 10 MARCH 2011

Equality: the European Union makes it happen!



Femmes actives : on s'y intéresse que le 8 mars

Corinne Dillenseger

La diversité au sein des conseils d'administration des sociétés cotées est nécessaire ; la mixité des genres en constitue un des facteurs importants. En 2010, un constat s'impose : en Belgique, seules 7% de femmes sont administratrices de sociétés cotées. Compte tenu de ce contexte socio-économique, comment accroître la représentativité des femmes ? Faut-il une loi imposant des quotas ou adopter une approche par le biais d'une recommandation ?

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1/3 de femmes dans les conseils d'administration en Belgique : la proposition du PS adoptée


Aujourd'hui, la grande majorité des fonctions dirigeantes dans les entreprises sont occupées par des hommes. Les femmes ne représentent que 8 % des postes à responsabilité. Mais les choses vont changer. A l'initiative des députés PS, les femmes occuperont à l'avenir 1/3 des postes dans les conseils d'administration. Délai ? Un an pour les entreprises publiques, 6 ou 8 ans pour les entreprises privées cotées en Bourse.

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Advance your carreer

Executive Sponsorship: Friends in High Places

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Why do so many women who excel at their jobs go unnoticed? Teaming up with an executive sponsor may be the key to advancing in your career. I threw your name into the hat. You're going to get a call. So said Mike Fucci, a senior Deloitte executive, to Barbara Adachi. Fucci had heard about a big job opening and pitched Adachi as the right person for the post.

Formation Femmes et management

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Du 24 mars 2011 au 20 décembre 2011, Amazone, en collaboration avec MC2 – Chalude & Associates et le Centre pour la Formation et l'Intervention Psychosociologiques, proposera une nouvelle édition de la formation 'Femmes et management': une formation orientée vers le développement du leadership et les compétences managériales, avec un équilibre entre penser et agir, évolution à court terme, changement à long terme.

Build your own business

Apply for the 2011 edition of the Cartier Women's Initiative Awards by March 15!

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The Cartier Women's Initiative Awards are a social entrepreneurship competition aimed at creative, financially sustainable and responsible women-led start-ups, in all countries and industries. Cartier is currently looking for committed female entrepreneurs heading initiatives between one and three years old, with the potential to grow significantly in the years to come.

Entrepreneurs are invited to submit a short business plan using the online form that you can find on

WomenChangeMakers: a new programme to support social entrepreneurs driving women's progress

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Alicia Leal has led the Mexican government to recognize the urgency to provide services to victims of gender-based violence. She is the founder of Alternativas Pacíficas, the first shelter for battered women and children in México with multidisciplinary services, and later, of the National Network of Shelters for Women.

Active mother

When You Have to Work Late

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It's 5:30 p.m. and your boss calls a meeting. A client emergency requires all hands on deck. With your husband out of town you panic: Who will pick up your son from school? Be prepared. Even with a local college student on call, you may need backup for your backup (she's got a date tonight). Keep the numbers of people you can call in an emergency in your cell phone: another parent from your son's child care or school, a friend down the block, your housekeeper.

Companies and Gender

Une femme à la direction, c'est plus « joli et coloré »

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Ce sont en tout cas les propos du dirigeant de la Deutsch Bank, accordés au quotidien allemand Handelsblatt. En plein débat sur l'instauration d'un quota de femmes dans les comités de direction en Allemagne, le président de la Deutsch bank – Josef Ackerman – a fait ce qu'on appelle, une bourde.

Women's rights one hundred years on: the fight continues

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Parliament marked the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day (Tuesday 8 March) with a debate and vote on two resolutions tabled by the Women's Rights Committee: one on gender equality and the other on female poverty. A third resolution, on reducing health inequalities, was also adopted. In a special ceremony held on Tuesday to commemorate 100 years of campaigning for women's rights, EP President Buzek said « There are too few women in the EP: 35% is not enough, even though this is slightly more than in national parliaments.

Interview exclusive avec Mariya Nedelcheva, Députée au Parlement Européen et auteur du rapport 'Equality between women and men in the European Union'

Ecouter le podcast

Women in the Boardroom

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It's time to shatter the glass ceiling for good. Making better use of women's talents is not just a matter of equality and fairness. It's a business issue. And women mean business. The case for getting more women on company boards has never been stronger. As national budgets in Europe get squeezed and the economy moves out of recession, human capital will be necessary to restore Europe's competitiveness at a global level.

CD&V wil quota, Bruno wil aandacht

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Is het een schande om rekening te houden met de elementen die uit een hoorzitting naar voren komen? Is het een schande om bedrijven enige tijd te laten om zelf de nodige stappen te doen? Neen, integendeel, het is de uiting van een normaal democratisch proces, waarbij iedereen de kans krijgt om zijn of haar stem te laten horen.

ECJ ruling against sex discrimination in insurances key victory for women’s rights, say civil society organisations

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The European Court of Justice (ECJ) yesterday delivered its ruling in the Test-Achats case (C-236/09) concerning sex discrimination in insurance premiums. The EU’s highest Court ruled that different insurance premiums for women and men are not compatible with the EU's Charter of Fundamental Rights. Member States are not allowed to derogate from the principle of equality between women and men in their national legislation.

Fifth of FTSE 100 firms have no women on board

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British boardrooms will have to make massive leaps in recruiting women to their boards if they are going to adhere to new anti-discrimination guidelines. A government inquiry headed by former trade minister Lord Davies is calling on the country's 350 largest public companies to ensure that 25% of their directors are female by 2015.

JUMP Forum

Register now for the JUMP Forum and benefit from the early bird fee (until 31 March)

On Thursday 05/05/2011 the JUMP Forum will celebrate its 5th anniversary! That's five years of growing from strength to strength, dedicating ourselves to advancing the professional lives of women and working with companies to promote gender balance.

For the landmark 5th edition of the JUMP Forum we have a programme packed with visionary speakers, including Peninah Thomson (A Woman's Place in the Boardroom), Sue Vinnicombe (Women with Attitude), Éléna Fourès (Leadership au féminin), Michèle Mees (The Balanced Leader) and Marc Luyckx Ghisi (The Knowledge Society), as well as educative and inspiring workshops. Come and celebrate with us, network with like-minded professionals and accelerate your professional future!

REGISTER NOW · Discover the speakers · View the full programme

Inspiring Women

Virginie Margerin, créatrice de la marque de bijoux odawo

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Professionnellement, mon objectif est de concevoir des bijoux innovants, féminins et élégants afin de toujours susciter l'envie et l'attention des femmes. A terme, connaître le même succès qu'Ice-Watch par exemple m'apporterait certainement beaucoup de satisfaction. Pour info, la marque odawo avec sa gamme de bijoux olfactifs est une marque qui combine bien-être et bien-paraître.

Interview van Nathalie Bekx

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Nathalie Bekx zet in 1997 – op basis van haar achtergrond als historica en professionele ervaringen met onder meer onderwijs, journalistiek en mediaonderzoek – een eigen bureau in de markt. Sindsdien verstrekt ze marketingadvies en coacht ze bedrijven op het vlak van content strategies (Bekx&X) en op basis voor doorgedreven trendonderzoek (Bexpertise). Daarnaast is ze een gerenommeerd spreker en columniste.


My job as researcher – please share your experience!

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The Photonics Explorer is encouraging young women and men at secondary schools to apply their talents in science and engineering (S&E). As a part of this initiative The Photonics Explorer would like to give them an accurate idea of what it means to work as a scientist and/or engineer. Your experience and view on working in S&E matters, so please share it with the next generation! Who knows, one day some of them might become your new colleagues…

The electronic questionnaire is located on the website:

Feel Good!

Sex Toy or not Sex Toy ?

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Après « to be or not to be ?», la problématique qui se pose à chacun vis-à-vis des sex toys « En être ou ne pas en être » ? Cette exposition offre une vision artistiquement subversive de l'objet culte, sujet de tous les fantasmes, le sex toy. Chaque artiste invité explore et questionne cet objet de désir avec sa propre sensibilité, son univers personnel.

Love your body: Make a video telling the world why you're embracing the real you!

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For more than a decade, NOW Foundation's Love Your Body Campaign has been calling out the fashion, cosmetics and advertising industries for promoting unrealistic images of women. The campaign encourages women and girls to celebrate their bodies and reject the narrow beauty ideals endorsed in the media.


Mini CV : l'avis d'une pro

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« Comme pour un article de presse, ce qui importe c'est l'accroche » ! Michèle Ducher, conseillère spécialisée dans les bilans de compétences, nous donne les clés de ce super outil de réseautage. Michèle Ducher avait elle-même réalisé un mini CV pendant sa recherche d'emploi en 1993. Aujourd'hui conseillère au CIBC de l'Essonne, elle propose très souvent cet outil aux personnes qu'elle accompagne.

Women's networks

SOFIA: hét netwerk- en mentorprogramma voor vrouwen in management

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SOFIA is het mentor-, netwerk- & vormingsprogramma voor vrou- wen en management in de profit-sector. Onderzoeks- en oplei- dingsinstituut SEIN van de Universiteit Hasselt organiseert al ruim 10 jaar het SOFIA programma. Doelstelling is het creëren van professionele netwerken van en voor vrouwen. Daarnaast zijn vrouwelijke rolmodellen (mentoren) actief als 'coach' en is het een programma op maat van uw leerdoelen.

Show Solidarity

Turkey: Roj Women question the effectiveness of the National Action Plan to combat Violence against Women

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Roj Women is a Kurdish and Turkish grass-roots women's rights movement established in 2004 and based in London. Roj Women has a membership of hundreds of women from different countries both in Europe and in the Kurdish regions of Syria, Iran, Iraq and Turkey. In a recent summary report of their campaign for an effective implementation of the National Action Plan to combat violence against women Roj Women explain why they believe the Turkish Plan is failing to deliver its goals.

Revolution signals new dawn for Egypt's women

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A couple of days after the fall of Hosni Mubarak, 24-year-old Nawara Belal was driving in Cairo when she was verbally abused by an army officer. « I got out of my car, opened the door of his car and slapped him in the face, » she said. « I realized he wouldn't do anything about it, and it gave me the power to do what I wanted to do to every harasser in my past. « I would never have been able to do that before the revolution. »


The Conversity Model: Making money with social media

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This book finally shows the link between social media and the succes of an organization. Social media [...] offer companies a new way of advertising, marketing and even change business models. 'There are, in my view, two major reasons to invest time, resources and money: the fact that social media are now the place where people prefer spending their time on-line; and the fact that the time is right to turn 'doing business' back into a social process', says Clo Willaerts.

Un Coquelicot en Hiver

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« Un coquelicot en hiver? Pourquoi pas… ». Il est le premier d'une longue série, dont le concept sera de rendre l'espoir aux gens afin de réaliser les défis les plus fous, un peu comme un coquelicot qui pousserait en hiver… Il s'agit d'un témoignage poignant sur une vie qui n'aurait jamais dû s'allumer, et pourtant il s'attarde sur les premiers pas difficiles d'une petite fille et raconte le parcours d'une femme rempli de défis irréalisables en parlant, sans tabou, de la violence conjugale, qui touche encore trop de femmes, condamnées à souffrir.

Empowering Women,
Advancing the Economy

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