European Parliament alerts to backlash against gender equality & LGBTI rights

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

On 12 February, tmariage_pour_tous_recadreehe European Parliament adopted a resolution on the backlash in women’s rights and gender equality in the EU.

The resolution addresses the current “visible and organised effort at the global and at the European level against gender equality and women’s rights” (para. K), such as anti-gender movements, whose targets are among others LGBTI people’s human rights (para. M). The European Parliament points out how this backlash was especially visible in 2018 around the topic of the Istanbul Convention, whose adoption has opened doors for violent hate speech targeting LGBTI people in particular (para. Q), and expresses concerns about the rise of LGBTI-phobic hate speech (para. 8).

“Gender equality is a key value of the EU; yet it has been increasingly attacked in the past years. “ said Angelika Mlinar, member of the LGBTI Intergroup and shadow rapporteur for the resolution. “It is our role at the European Parliament to defend gender equality, women’s rights and LGBTI rights against suck attacks, and remind the EU and Members States of their duty to protect EU citizens and their rights.”

With the resolution, the European Parliament makes a series of recommendations and requests relevant to LGBTI people’s rights:

- it “urges the Commission and the Member States to remain strongly committed to and prioritize gender equality, LGBTI and women’s rights including the rights of the most vulnerable minorities” (para. 1)

- it “calls on Member States to ensure that women’s rights and LGBTI rights are protected and recognised as equality principles of democracy and rule of law” (para. 6).

- it “urges the Council to unblock the Directive on implementing the principle of equal treatment outside the labour market, irrespective of age, disability, sexual orientation or religious belief, which aims at extending protection against discrimination through a horizontal approach” (para. 34)

“ This resolutions sends a strong signal to anti-equality movements in Europe : women’s rights and LGBTI rights are human rights and will continue to be protected and defended.” commented Terry Reintke, co-chair of the LGBTI Intergroup and shadow rapporteur for the resolution. “Now we need the Commission, the Council and Member States to work together to counter this backlash against gender equality and secure the rights of all citizens – including women and LGBTI people.”


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