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The EU’s law and policy framework for the promotion of gender equality in the world

Thies, A. (2020) The EU’s law and policy framework for the promotion of gender equality in the world. In: Giegerich, T. (ed.) The European Union as Protector and Promoter of Equality. European Union and its Neighbours in a Globalized World (1). Springer, pp. 429-454. ISBN 9783030437633

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-43764-0_22


Gender equality has been recognised as a right and as ‘essential to achieve peaceful societies, with full human potential and sustainable development’ (UN). Yet, girls and women around the globe continue to suffer from discrimination and inequality with regard to education, health and related services, economic structure, participation and access to resources, public life and decision-making. States and other global actors’ foreign policy- and treaty-making can have implications for gender equality. This chapter maps the current law and policy landscape that frames external action of the European Union (EU) with respect to the promotion of gender equality in the world. Moreover, the chapter provides an overview on EU tools that have been employed to implement the EU’s commitment to gender equality in its external action, using examples to illustrate current practice and trends. The chapter demonstrates that the EU institutions have increasingly included gender equality related aspects in the EU’s development, trade and foreign policy measures. The chapter highlights that it is appropriate for the EU to thereby not merely impose the EU’s own standards and procedures on non-EU states but to endorse and promote instead international law and procedures to improve gender equality. The Lisbon Treaty has affected the scope of EU external competence by including gender equality objectives in external action. As a consequence, the need to accommodate gender equality objectives and considerations in any of the EU’s external activities finds a basis in the EU’s constitutional legal order and could fall increasingly within the remit of the European Court of Justice. The chapter claims that integrating gender equality in the EU’s external action framework has increased the EU’s own accountability for external action, in that the EU’s internal standards for the protection of rights and the promotion of gender equality have become a benchmark for EU action affecting gender equality within the EU and in non-EU countries.

Item Type:Book or Report Section
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Law
ID Code:91684

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