Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2000-10-05-Speech-4-020"

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"Mr President, welcome back to Parliament, Mrs Péry. Thank you for your considerable commitment and for the work you have made a point of doing in the interests of equality. We are especially looking forward to your succeeding in implementing a policy of alternate listing of women and men in decision-making. That is really excellent. I would just like to raise a couple of issues which I believe should, as a matter of urgency, be a part too of the Council’s thinking and of the work it is doing. It concerns not only women in the European Union, but also women in the candidate countries. In the candidate countries, the social exclusion of women has been substantially greater than that of men. It is therefore women who have been hardest hit. Many of them have lost their jobs and, with this, comes violence against women, sex discrimination and the trade in women. Many women are lured to Western Europe with promises of a better life, but the reality is the opposite. They often fall victim to acts of violence and some are forced into prostitution. Consequently must demand and support preventive programmes and specific measures, such as strict legislation, witness protection schemes and information campaigns. However, the fact that the existing laws are not enforced and new ones are not created means that the governments of Europe are indirectly allowing the Mafia to continue with its activities. This is therefore an incredibly important issue for us to get to grips with. In this area therefore, the Council, especially its men, has a tremendously important job to do in leading Europe in the fight against the Mafia that trades in women, for this slave trade is not something that responsible politicians can push aside, shrug off or ignore. We have a political responsibility to abolish this slavery of modern times. In conclusion, I would like to say something about the men – and it is the men that I address. When I talk about ‘the men’, I mean the men with power. It is Prodi, Chirac, Jospin, Schröder, Blair, Persson and the others who must become involved in this, namely 15 of our heads of government."@en1

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