Kvinna till Kvinna and partner organizations representatives met with Malin Björk, policy adviser at European Parliament on 23rd May 2012.
Malin Björk is policy adviser for Women’s Rights and Gender Equality. In addition, she is part of the Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Committee and member of the European United Left / Nordic Green Left – European Parliament Group.
Overall the meeting was very useful, and to the point – she gave us some really good examples and ideas how to reach out to the Parliament. Along with the fact that she was very transparent and feminist herself, this meeting was a really great place to get information how women organizations can directly communicate with the parliament, and get their support.
Some of the ways she suggested are: to send written questions, but also to try to meet joint parliamentary committees when they are coming to the country, as well as inviting some MP’s to attend our activities. In her opinion it is not so hard to get the signatures and support from the MP’s, as long as we are clear with our demands, provide them with all relevant information and find person among the MP’s willing to advocate for our issues.
With regards to the progress reports, the Parliament’s role is to give comments to the progress report. The Committee for Women’s Rights and Gender Equality is open to read inputs from the organizations in the field, but, she emphasized, that the European Commissions in the countries are key actor – it is more important to send our inputs to them, as they are they are the ones writing reports, and the Parliament is commenting on a final product. Therefore her suggestion is that in this process we communicate with our Commissions the best we can.
Representatives of the partner organizations also had numerous questions all related to their field of work. Therefore at this meeting we got good insight into the policies on women rights recently adopted by the Parliament, and we got much clearer picture on the mandate and roles of the European governmental bodies.
For us, who were present, all of this information’s were more than useful. We are sure we will use it well to make long lasting change! Thank you Malin!
Elmaja and Maja
Also read: “Make an input – make a change” part 1