The EMHF was one of the first signatories to the new Charter of Intents for Equal Citizenship which was launched recently at the European Movement International (EMI) conference Men and Gender Equality in Europe. Over 200 people witnessed the launch in Brussels last month.
‘Gender equality is central to the achievement of the European Union's goals on rights, democracy, solidarity, cohesion and competitiveness,’ EMI president Pat Cox told the delegates. ‘The concept is undergoing a transformation from being an almost exclusive and essentially isolated women's issue, driven by and for women, to a more inclusive societal perspective where men are no less central to its elaboration and achievement. This is why the campaign that the EMI has led, adopted an innovative approach and took men as the necessary driving force towards more equal societies’.
In this connection, one of the speakers, Keith Pringle, Professor in Sociology at Mâlardalen University College in Sweden, explicitly identified men’s health as a key issue in his presentation Rethinking the Role of Women and Men in Society. ‘It was important to hear men’s health mentioned at this level,’ said EMHF director Erick Savoye who was in the audience and added the EMHF's signature to the charter.
Vladimir Spidla, the EU’s Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities strongly emphasized ‘the leadership that the European Union has shown in adopting legislation promoting equal opportunities for women and men.’ He presented the Roadmap for equality between women and men 2006-2010 and particularly stressed the importance of its goals for the achievement of full equality as a fundamental value of the EU.