In its International Women’s Day message, the European Commission claims today that “Europe has been promoting gender equality since 1957 – it is part of the European Union’s DNA“.
The problem with DNA is that it also needs activating, and EU reality shows that activating the gender equality genes at EU-level doesn’t really work:
- No European Commission president has been female and the European Commission has never been gender balanced. (Source)
- Only two European Parliament presidents have been female and the EP has never been gender balanced. (Source)
- Only two rotating European Council Presidents (Thatcher & Merkel) have been female and no permanent European Council President has been female (Source). The European Council has never been gender balanced.
- Most leaders of the rotating Council presidency have been male because usually heads of state and government and a majority of ministers are male (see above).
- No European Court of Justice President has been female and the highest Court has never been gender balanced. (Source)
- No European Court of Auditors President has been female and the Court of Auditors has never been gender balanced. (Source)
- No European Central Bank President has been female (Source)
These are the seven official institutions of the European Union and none of them has ever been gender balanced or has been close of having a female majority, and most have never even had a single female president – and those who had only very few.
In other words, while gender equality may be in the DNA of the European Union, there is no RNA available at European level that activates those genes inside the European institutions. As long as this doesn’t change, how can it be a leading force around the globe on gender equality?!