vendredi 31 août 2007

mardi 28 août 2007

Missing You

Despedida "Bruxellois"

Aunque este Blog está tomando un camino más “político” y “articulero” no deja de ser personal, y no como no podía ser de otra manera, después de nuestro “brunch Bruxellois” de despedida tenía que dedicarte un post con una canción…

Porque has sido alguien muy importante en estos cinco meses de mi Stage,
Porque me has animado a continuar con mi blog (y parece que me está gustando),
Porque me has ayudado a seguir mostrándome tal y como soy,
Porque nos has ayudado a tod@s para estar siempre “conectados”
Y por ello hemos disfrutado de muy buenos momentos,
Porque nos has dedicado los mejores momentos del Stage hasta en un video,
Porque has sido un regalo del destino con el que he paseado y compartido muchas puestas de sol,
Porque volverás a tu Granada querida y seguirás llevando ese buen “rollito” que te caracteriza,
Porque han sido muchas las cosas que hemos compartido, que me has enseñado, y espero haber aprendido…

Me ha costado mucho seleccionar la canción porque tenía que tener todos los ingredientes de despedida, pena, nostalgia, como no internacional, pero sin ser demasiado pasteloso, además de sumar nuestras dos personalidades y eso si que es difícil!!!
Después de descartar “ne me quitte pas-Jaques Brel”, “tu me manques” “Miss you-Rolling Stones” y otras muchas…
Este es el resultado de una canción con carácter (como yo :) ), de una de mis cantantes favoritas, con sensibilidad (como tú :)) y con una letra preciosa –aunque en este caso sabemos que sólo se aplica en alguna estrofa.

No cambies, eres alguien muy especial y ojala que volvamos a encontrarnos en este camino del destino.

El video se ha colado arriba...

jeudi 23 août 2007

Commission acts to bridge gender pay gap

Across the EU economy, women continue to earn an average of 15% less than men, according to the European Commission. A new report released today sets out ways the EU can bridge the gap – which has barely changed over the past decade. The gender pay gap represents the difference between average hourly pay for women and men before tax across the economy as a whole. It reflects ongoing discrimination and inequality in the labour market which, in practice, mainly affects women.

"Girls out-perform boys at school and more women enter the labour market with a university degree than men, but a pay gap of 15% persists. This is an absurd situation and needs to change," said Vladimír Špidla, EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities. "The pay gap is a complex issue with multiple causes. Sometimes we see pure discrimination. But often reasons are hidden: women do more unpaid work, like taking care of the household and dependants; more women work part time and often the women-dominated sectors are on a lower pay scale. We must shift up a gear now. The only way to succeed is by getting men and women, NGOs, social partners and governments on board to tackle the problem at all levels".

The gender pay gap extends well beyond the question of equal pay for equal work. One of the main causes is the way women's competences are valued compared to men's. Jobs requiring similar qualifications or experience tend to be paid less when they are dominated by women than by men. For example, in some countries nannies earn less than car mechanics, supermarket cashiers less than warehouse workers, nurses less than the police.

The pay gap also reflects inequalities on the labour market mainly affecting women - in particular the difficulties in reconciling work with private life. Women have greater recourse to part-time work and more frequent career breaks, which negatively impact on their professional development. They still lag behind when it comes to holding managerial positions and they encounter more obstacles and resistance as they proceed along their career paths. As a consequence, women's career paths are more often interrupted, slower and shorter, and hence less well paid than men's. Statistics show that the pay gap grows with age, education and years of service – differences in pay are over 30% in the 50-59 age group and 7% for the under-30s; it is over 30% for those with third-level education and 13% among those with lower level secondary education and for workers with over 30 years of service in a company it is as high as 32%, while it is 10% lower (22%) for those who have worked in a company for one to five years.

To tackle the issue, today's Communication identifies four fields of action:

Ensuring better application of existing legislation (analysing how current laws could be adapted and raising awareness);
Fighting the pay gap as an integral part of Member States' employment policies (exploiting full potential of EU funding, in particular the European Social Fund);
Promoting equal pay among employers, especially through social responsibility;
Supporting exchange of good practices across the EU and involving the social partners.
Closing the gender gap is one of the key concerns highlighted in the 'Roadmap for equality between women and men 2006-2010'. In addition, a Eurobarometer survey from January 2007 showed that a large majority of Europeans believe that more women are needed in management positions (77%) and as Members of Parliament (72%). 68% of Europeans believe family responsibilities act as an obstacle for women in accessing management positions and 47% consider women are less likely to be promoted than men with the same qualifications. Today's Communication aims to analyse the causes of the pay gap and identify courses of action at EU level. It highlights that the pay gap can only be tackled by acting at all levels, involving all stakeholders and focusing on all the factors that cause it.

For more information:
Link to communication

Gender equality policy
Study on 'The gender pay gap: origins and policy responses'
European Year of Equal Opportunities for All
Fourth European Working conditions survey:

mercredi 22 août 2007

Why do women need positive discrimination?

"There are many men, and even women, who
criticise the allegedly "unfair" competition
promoted by "quota" systems that ease
women's access to certain sectors or fields of
work. However, statistics show that the number
of women occupying high-level responsibility
positions is still very low or non-existent
despite such quotas"

The European Commission has numerous policies to improve gender equality and gender mainstreaming within the European Union Member States, pre-accession countries, countries recipients of development aid, as well as within the EU institutions.
One example of such a policy is the fourth Action Programme for Equal Opportunities for Women and Men (2004-2008), which contains measures aimed at improving the gender balance among staff. Additionally, the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality of the European Parliament addresses the issues of gender discrimination and equal rights. Some of the competences and objectives of the Committee include:

§ the definition, promotion and protection of women's rights in the Union and related Community measures;
§ the promotion of women's rights in third countries;
§ equal opportunities policy, including equality between men and women with regard to labour market opportunities and treatment at work;
§ the removal of all forms of discrimination based on sex;
§ the implementation and further development of gender mainstreaming in all policy sectors;
§ the follow-up and implementation of international agreements and conventions involving the rights of women; and
§ Information policy on women

Even though policies and decisions on gender equality are currently being implemented, a significant gender deficit and gap still exist. According to the Report on Equality between Women and Men, prepared by the Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, women earn 15 per cent less than men despite the European legislation on equal pay.

Women constitute, on average, 30 per cent of entrepreneurs in the EU, and within enterprises, account for only 32 per cent of managers and 10 per cent of board members. Only 3 per cent of CEOs of large enterprises are women.

The same report also shows that within the Commission itself, the situation on gender balance requires considerable improvement. In 2004, category A women officials constituted 31.8 per cent; an increase of almost 10 per cent over the past ten years. The number of female directors was only 13.2 per cent, while women in middle-management positions accounted for 18 per cent.

Work-life balance tensions, combined with stereotypes and gender-biased remuneration and evaluation systems, continue to affect women's careers and make vertical segregation of the labour market very rigid. It seems that even though the institutions are committed to achieving gender equality, women are still prevented from full participation, resulting in a democratic deficit.

Having a more equal representation of women in decision-making positions remains a key challenge for the future. To improve on gender equality, the Commission proposed, in March 2005, to set up European Institute for Gender Equality, which begins its work in 2008. The institute was conceived as a technical support body both for the Member States and for the European institutions; most notably that of the Commission, to ensure the best implementation of Community policy in the field of gender equality. From an optimistic point of view, a combination of these new measures will improve the gender ratio in hierarchical positions.

Rebeca DE SANCHO MAYORAL. Published on “European Stagiaires’ Journal”, May 2007.

Et...C’est fini…

Y el Stage en la Comisión se terminó…los últimos días antes de que todos nos escapáramos de Bruselas fueron una locura, nos lo pasamos muy bien! entre cervecita & cervecita & cervecita…Y como siempre ocurre en todas estas experiencias “gran hermano” o “verano azul” hubo sentimientos encontrados, para los que se iban y sabían que no iban a volver a Bruselas, y para los que nos quedábamos y sabíamos que a la vuelta iba a empezar otra vida en Bruselas. Pero al contrario que en otras “despedidas”, no hubo lagrimitas, la mayoría de los que participamos en estas aventurillas ya estamos muy acostumbrados a este tipo de vida de “peregrinación-romería” por la vida e intentamos extraer la parte positiva de la experiencia ya que las energías las necesitamos para seguir adelante. Pero mi post no puede superar al de Esteban que como siempre recoge mejor que nadie estas emociones incluso nos dedicó un video.

Yo puedo decir que he tenido mucha suerte. Tras varios intentos fallidos solicitando el stage esta vez tocaba y me cogieron en un momento perfecto, además donde se me había metido en la cabeza, en “Cooperación”. Alguna vez me había imaginado dentro de la Comisión, pero la realidad ha superado a mi imaginación. Para cualquier “Eurocrata” convencid@ que ha estudiado alguna vez la formación de la Unión Europea, las políticas, o cualquier master relacionado con temas europeos, poder vivirlo desde dentro- aunque sólo sea unos meses- es una experiencia única.

Cada un@ acomoda el Stage a su manera, un@s curraban mucho (o decían que curraban mucho) y echaban muchas otras, otr@s no tenían mucho que hacer y se quejaban todo el día, otr@s aprovechaban todo lo que podían y no dejaban de asistir a cursos, conferencias, sub-committies, etc. Otr@s se pasaron el día entre la Place Lux y las fiestas de stagiaires intentando ligar, otr@s se pasaron el día haciendo networking y al final para algun@s resultó :)…

Son muchas las experiencias positivas que debería incluir en este resumen como cierre de una etapa y comienzo de otra. Creo que no cabrían todas y casi prefiero guardármelas en la memoria de mi cabecita, sin que queden escritas, y que el recuerdo de éstas haga que sean aún mejor de lo que fueron.

Venir a Bruselas supuso una decisión personal dura porque dejaba mi ciudad favorita (después de Buenos Aires) y porque se quedaban allí muchas “cosas”…
Pero a los pocos meses me di cuenta que esto se podía alargar y que en términos profesionales no supuso, ni supone ninguna decisión difícil. Esta experiencia me ha ayudado a recuperar mi “ego profesional” que lo tenía un poquito tocado en el último año, así que ha sido una cura en todos los sentidos.

Lo bueno de Bruselas es que si hay algún tema por el que sientas curiosidad y te emocione especialmente, es muy fácil acercarte a el, es muy fácil asistir a las sesiones del Parlamento por increíble que parezca (si te sobra el tiempo, claro). En Bruselas he tenido acceso a uno de los temas que más me interesa, el “género” y a los lobbies que trabajan sobre este tema. Y eso me ha hecho muy feliz…y no puedo olvidarme de toda la gente que me ha hecho muy feliz y que me ha ayudado mucho y me sigue ayudando…

Se terminaron las mini vacaciones en España, las vacaciones en Bruselas y ahora espero la nota de mi examen famoso (para los “Euromochis”) “Cast27” para saber si tengo que seguir estudiando. Mientras espero a que me contesten de mis entrevistas, espero a que me llamen para más entrevistas y en esa espera intento no desesperar. Estoy segura y convencida de que esta vez me toca que me salga bien esta apuesta y…me va a salir bien!

Próximo post “Living in Brussels II ”