The GAMAG group convened to define an action strategy

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On September 5th, the media professionals, researchers and civil society members created working groups, via Skype, to promote an international network for gender equality in the media.

 

To respond to the action priorities, four working groups were created: visibility; violence against women journalists, good practices in the media, and members. The internal debate began in order to give visibility to the group and to promote thought from a gender perspective in the media in various countries.

This meeting was held after members of GAMAG began the debate last June at a meeting in Brussels to discuss taxes from a gender perspective.

 

"Tax is a Feminist Issue"

The "Tax is a Feminist Issue" Conference, organized by the European Parliamentary Group The Greens – European Free Alliance, took place on June 29th at the European Parliament. Its key point was the discussion of the impacts of taxation for women and gender equality.

The basis of the discussion was the fact that many studies clearly show that fiscal policies have a serious impact on women, especially poor women, and on gender equality. The gender dimension in taxes is often ignored by the Governments. One of the clearest examples is hygiene products and their taxation as other than basic necessities.

 

Equitable tax

The first part of the conference, on the theme of the gender dimension in taxes was moderated by MEP Ernest Urtasun, from The Greens European Parliamentary Group, member of the European Parliament Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality. The speakers presented data from different contexts, as well as various examples of the injustices of the tax system and the way they affect women and gender equality.

The first speaker, María Pazos, Director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies of the Ministry of Finance and Public Administration, one of the experts in taxation and gender in Spain, analysed the policies and fiscal reforms and the way they are more damaging to women.

Afterwards, James Browne, Senior Researcher at OECD and Director for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs, explained why taxes is a gender issue and the differences between men and women concerning paid work.

Liz Nelson, director of the Tax Justice Network and responsible for the fiscal justice and human rights programme presented the project "Taxjustice.net" and the explanations why taxes are not neutral but they have a gender dimension.

Kathleen A. Lahey, Professor at the Queens University (Canada) and a member of the EU H2020 funded FairTax Research Consortium, explained the project that is coordinating and 'Taxing for sex equality' and structural equality measures.

Finally, Gaële Garnier, Head of TAXUD DG at the European Commission presented the strategies of the European Commission and answered questions from diverse speakers and participants.

 

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Collen Lowe, president of GAMAG, and Teresa Carreras, representing GAMAG Europa

 

Menstruation, a luxury

The second part of the conference, moderated by Karima Delli from The Greens European Parliamentary Group, encompassed the presence of Laura Coryton, representative of the 'Stop the onus on periods' campaign; Juliette Melba, spokesperson for the Georgette Arena Collective and Natalia Kozdra, from the Georgette Arena Collective, pervaded on the same point: menstruation cannot be considered a luxury product and therefore the taxes levied on feminine hygiene first necessity products have a gender bias that affects women in a pernicious way.

One of the results of this Conference will be a primary document which will enrich the debate, in order to prepare a report to be adopted by the Parliament at its plenary session in November. The European Parliamentary Group The Greens – European Free Alliance has decided that gender and tax justice will be one of the main priorities for 2016. This decision results from a social demand shown by the creation of civil society groups present throughout Europe who are working to raise awareness about the uneven impact of fiscal policies for women and men and to end all forms of gender discrimination in tax systems.