By Antonyia Parvanova - 24th January 2013
Nobody thought quotas would be the catalyst for a number of other issues, writes Antonyia Parvanova.
I am absolutely positive that this directive will become a reality. There is a strong cross-party political commitment from the European parliament, an increasing uptake from member states despite the continued reticence of some of them, as well as a broad support from civil society. It is fundamental now to capitalise on this momentum and ensure that the positive measures would translate into working instruments in other policy areas where gender discrimination is still persistent. There is a lot of talk about human trafficking and prostitution for example, but nobody thought quotas could also be an igniting force to address all of this. Now, we need to start thinking about what comes next after this and how we link it to other issues. The directive on women quotas for company boards can act as a ‘door-opener’ to affirmative action in the sphere of the gender pay gap and ensuring work-life balance and better sharing of paternal responsibilities. For me, fostering this spill over effect is key.
Antonyia Parvanova is a member of parliament's women's rights and gender equality committee